Published on 9 September 2020
A town bakery and cafe had to adapt when the Coronavirus lockdown came into force and is now making its changes semi permanent to benefit the community.
Henley Kitchen & Bakery were able to remain open when the Coronavirus lockdown came into force with a focus on supporting the community by providing essential produce in addition to a delivery service to those isolating.
Under Government instruction, the High Street-based business had to close down its cafe section in March.
When this happened, the decision was made to support the community by adapting and diversifying into a shop to provide not only fresh bread and baked cakes and pastries, but tinned food, tea and coffee, pasta, sauces, toiletries, dairy and meat produce, along with flour and yeast to enable home baking.
Owner Lisa Hamilton said that she was proud of what the whole team had accomplished over the past few months, but knew they had to adapt straight away.
"I had to adapt to meet the needs of the community," she said. "I had customers telephoning me requesting items that had sold out in supermarkets and ingredients for home baking. Being a community business I set out to provide this produce and also a delivery service for those self isolating.
"It has been both a very interesting and challenging time, but I have to say my team has been excellent; every day they have put themselves at risk and worked so hard to provide a safe environment for our customers. I would like to say a huge thank you to them and our loyal customers."
Lisa took over the business in 2016, completely refurbishing the café and revamping the menu and making it the success it is today. With the future continuing to look unsettled, she has decided to make some lockdown changes to keep serving the community.
Lisa added: "With things so uncertain at the moment and trying to social distance at the cafe, we decided it would be safer and more useful to the community to continue to use the space as a shop. The cafe area has had a refit to allow more produce to be displayed and we continue to provide takeaway hot/cold sandwiches and breakfasts along with takeway tea, coffee and milkshakes.
"Our main priority is making sure that we serve our community in as safe a way as possible and we think that this is the best way to do this at the moment. If any of our customers would like to request an item to be stocked then please let me know and I will do my utmost to source it for you."
The project has received £116,036 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575