Holly Wilson, owner of Richard Dare in Primrose Hill and Prep Cookshop in Stoke Newington, London says the Government’s recent announcement that ‘non-essential’ retailers can re-open on December 3 came as “an absolute relief.” She adds that this “also comes with the huge pressure of making up for lost time, but we’re going to give it a damn good go!”
Holly reports: “We’ve survived through November. We have done ‘ring & collect’ and more recently ‘knock & collect’ and our customers have been so thankful. There is very little ‘staying in’ happening in Stoke Newington so it is painful to be in the shop and see the bustling street full of people without the shops being able to serve them.
“I felt a small glimmer of hope when a couple of suppliers told me that some cookshops were trading this lockdown under the hardware category. I got on the phone to my councils quick sharp and tried to beg and plead to be allowed to open but Hackney were sticklers for the rules, and, even though they agreed it was vague and foolish, they wouldn’t bend the rules for me. I’m still waiting for Camden to get back to me!”
Holly confirms: “We are preparing to make the most out of December. Stock is still a huge issue with a lot of our bestsellers not due back into stock until next year but we are buying what we can get. We may do longer days if I can get our normal holiday staff back in store to help out and – fingers crossed – our new website gets going and picks up some of the slack”
* Holly’s full From the frontline article will appear in Progressive Housewares’ forthcoming December issue.
Top: New team member Maeve at the door of Prep Cookshop for click and collect customers during November’s lockdown.