• Misses Winstonberry

It's a mad, mad world!

Eeesh! Well folks, we certainly didn’t expect to be putting a notice out like this one!  And so soon after our last update too.  And it was all so positive as well.  A successful curry night, spring on the way, daffodils in bloom… Yet sadly, this one isn’t full of such great news…

We’ve all been following the news updates regarding the dreaded Coronavirus – and the awful situations arising from it around the globe.  But to have to deal with the fall out from it here on our own doorstep is… well, a bit surreal we’d say.  Wouldn’t you?  And with all the news and updates, everyone going crazy for loo roll and pasta… we think the world has gone a little bit mad quite frankly.  Anyhoo, the news on Monday night hit us in the face like a brick to be honest.  Again, there’d been murmurs about schools closing and shops being ransacked but we didn’t expect social gatherings to be hit so hard and so fast.  It makes sense, we get that, but when you’re a small fry biz in a little country village it all just seems so crazy, right?!

But the real facts are; we have staff to consider as well as considering our own health.  Both Chloé and I are in the high risk factor (or whatever they are calling it)… we shall come back to that little item in a while.  Nonetheless, overall, our duty of care is to you, our customers and we can’t take the risk – no matter how small – with our health.  So we chewed the fat and mulled it over and came to the decision that we’d go in to work on Tuesday and just see how the day panned out.  It got to around 11am before we saw a soul – and when we did, a couple called in to the deli – with news that they’d recently returned from a Spanish holiday.  We all said we’d felt a bit vulnerable because of this – silly I’m sure – yet we’ve probably been washing cups and cutlery for weeks from people who have been spanning the globe!  A while later we had a couple of tables in for coffees but by lunch-time it was a proverbial ghost town.  Not another soul passed over our doorway and by 2pm, we decided it was silly to stand around any longer and closed the door.  So despite our best efforts to open the door it would appear that our customers voted with their feet – and stayed away from our café.

We do have quiet days from time to time – can’t deny it.  But we are having way too many quiet since the onslaught of this virus and a fairly quiet start to the year.  And whilst we don’t want to appear defeatist, there is way more to consider and more at stake than a few pennies in the till. After going to all the effort of ensuring we had enough food to fulfil our menu, heating up the space and the coffee machine, sadly we didn’t get anywhere near our ‘regular’ footfall.  And although its never an exact science, we can’t help but feel that the virus is scaring people away.

We have a couple of events about to happen… our Mothers Day afternoon tea is due to be held on Saturday 21st March.  We have already contacted those concerned and they have opted, on the whole, for a lovely take away option so they can enjoy it at home with their Mums and loved ones :) we are so grateful for their understanding at this difficult time, it just makes things that little bit easier.

Obviously our Pie & Pea night has had to be postponed too, but everyone who's paid deposits will be automatically switched to the re-scheduled date, hopefully in the not so distant future!

In other news, we are looking in to the possibility of coming in a couple of days a week and offering Cake-Away".  Whether there will be a great demand for this is impossible to know – although many of our customers commented and liked the idea when it was put out on social media. All we can do is give it a try! So, the shop has been added to our website already, please bear with us if you detect any glitches and send us a quick message.  For any elderly or infirm neighbours/family/friends, please feel free to place an order, pay online and we shall be happy to offer delivery within a mile of Gainford or up to Ingleton on our way home.  If we are all forced to lock down, this may be a welcome treat?  Since the government say we can walk about outside and walk our dogs, we’d be able to leave it outside on the tables for collection : )

Another idea we are going to try out, is scones by post!  Freshly baked and posted same day with Royal Mail.  Enjoy them either on their own or accompanied with our gorgeous Claires jam and clotted cream so you can enjoy a special treat at home.  Again, it may work well – who knows?  But we shall happily trial it and see! Locals who are willing and able to collect receive a little discount on selected items with the code "COLLECTION"

And on closing this rather gloomy news update, we do have one very lovely, happy bit of news…. We (my husband and I) are going to be Grandparents!!  Our little Chloé and her Husband Graham are expecting their first baby in October.  It’s not quite the way we’d hoped to share this wonderful news – and obviously we wish it wasn’t clouded in news of the dreaded ‘C’ virus…. But every cloud has a silver lining…. And after rain there comes a little rainbow…

So perhaps you may now understand our efforts to be extra cautious at this time.

Stay safe everyone.  Get that decorating done (some must be papering with loo roll?!), get the garden spruced up for summer coming and in the meantime, watch out for our announcements.  We can wave through the window when you come to pick up your cake ;)

Dawn and Chloé xx

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