Whilst the arrival of COVID saw many such places close for several months, the Smiddy determined to go down a different path and do the right thing by their employees in the process. So despite having to close the café, they increased the supply of everyday essentials and almost overnight they fast-tracked the kernel of an idea for a delivery facility which became a lifeline to many local people – particularly the old and vulnerable. They managed to get their hands on staples when no-one else had any, pasta, flour etc bought in bulk from wholesalers and decanted into smaller quantities; fresh bread and milk came in daily – mostly locally sourced and for many it was an eye opener to see what good produce was available so close by with the added joy of not having to queue around a dreary supermarket car park.
From an initial offering of fruit & veg and meat boxes they quickly expanded the available delivery options to over 300 product lines including baking goods, prepared meals, cleaning products, shampoo bars etc. The shop is also host to huge a range of giftware – many sourced from Scotland’s Trade Fairs – and in April it was almost the only place possible to buy a card or gift in the area.