Dear Kate and everyone working at or supplying the Refill Larder
Thank you for continuing with your fabulous business through the Lockdown period. For the briefest time you had to retreat, work out your strategy and get everything in order to continue trading. You did this with the safety of your customers, staff and suppliers at the heart of what you were offering. For this I am profoundly grateful.
As a fellow business owner with a commitment to sustainability I am grateful to have retailers like the Refill Larder so close to where we live. For a long time now our family has sought out ways to shop that reduce the amount of plastic we consume. Your simple business model had become a regular part of our routine up until the COVID-19 crisis. Every high street should have an outlet like yours and we all need to change our shopping habits.
The initial panic, combined with an underlying health issue, meant that most of my good intentions went out the window for a while. I felt blessed to be able to get to your shop on my last proper outing into the world before going into a self-imposed Lockdown in early March. By the time you started offering free delivery, then click and collect, we were so ready to restock. The Refill Larder was one of the first places we found to buy flour when everywhere else had succumbed to the Lockdown Bake Off phenomena. Everytime I pulled out a jar filled with your produce it made me smile. I cannot say the same for the plastic wrapped goods from a large national supermarket.
Don’t get me wrong, every shop worker, shelf stacker, delivery driver, buyer, member of frontline staff who kept our supply chain going is worthy of more than just our thanks; a hefty pay rise wouldn’t go amiss! As a country we need to eat, we need to survive. Personally, I don’t want this to be at the expense of small businesses who are working to make our planet a cleaner place. I would love it if their example and ethics could be introduced at scale. Maybe, we now have a real opportunity for change.
Call me a naive fool! No one knows how long this crisis will continue and resources are not finite in a country that is in the process of distancing itself from customary trading partners. Our workforce is compromised and crops will rot in the fields if farmers do not receive assistance. Insisting on maintaining existing trading patterns with our reliance on polluting methods will not be sustainable for the UK. Thinking small and thinking local might just be the way forward.
Let’s be honest I could list so many examples of good practise, businesses that may not survive without our support and aid from the government. Please name check the businesses you will miss if they don't make it. Then put your masks on, take the hand sanitiser, use it and keep these businesses open!