The Impact of Covid-19 on Locavore has been huge. Demand exploded for our veg’ boxes and we have had around 400 new customers since the start of the pandemic.
This means more people are choosing to support a fair, healthy and sustainable source for their food – which is great! When our customers shop with us, they are supporting a social enterprise which exists to help build a more sustainable local food system which is better for our local economy, the environment and our communities.
The pandemic has meant that not only have we had to manage a massive increase in demand, but we also have had to change everything – and really fast! We have utilised our flexibility and the great ideas in our team to work out how to do this. We made early changes in our shop, such as hand sanitising and social distancing. Due to this, we have a lot of customers who shop with us because that’s where they feel the safest.
All our new policies and procedures were informed through what we found with our own research. Above all, we are motivated to get it right as we care about our customers and our team members. Notably, the supermarkets were much later than us in dealing with this crisis – even with big budgets to commission specialists.
Moreover, we have been comparatively good for having things in stock. For example, we had less shortages of flour and toilet paper than the supermarkets. This is because, in contrast to the supermarkets’ “just in time” approach, we sit on about three-to-six months’ supply of stock. So for us, it has been fine selling three times as much food. Our customers are really grateful we are able to continue delivering their veg boxes – as well as keep the shop open and well stocked. Ultimately, people have really appreciated our reliability and that they can rely on us in an emergency.
Simply put, this is the first time for many of us to experience the fear there may not be enough food to buy. We have seen this on a big scale in the form of panic buying, which is not a good place to be for our mental health. At least for Locavore, our supply chains are a lot more resilient than people think.
We hope this encourages a wider range of people to support the food producers in their local communities. After all, in Glasgow it is the independent and smaller shops who have kept going. For example, even the newsagents have begun delivering bread. It is the independent and local businesses who care most about their communities. The current situation raises more awareness for this and more people are supporting their local shops and growers.
For us, short-supply chains and direct relationships with our producers is to thank for our success in getting food to people. Additionally, we have been able to help our suppliers who mostly supply restaurants and are now struggling. We are now very close to our bread supplier, Freedom Bakery and Dear Green, who are a Glasgow based coffee roaster. They supplied our cafe with coffee and we are now selling their coffee in the shop and with our veg boxes.
Altogether, this crisis has really driven home that what Locavore is doing is necessary, vital and important. After all, people really depend on us for their food. Although it has been really challenging over the last few months, it feels really fulfilling to do a good thing for our community.