It’s been a mad few weeks. Our daily lives have changed, we miss seeing the friendly faces behind our favourite independents. We are sure you do too, so we thought we’d check in.
Not only have they had to adapt their own lifestyle to the new normal, their business has had to change too.
We caught up with Tiina from Brocco.
What was your initial reaction to lockdown?
Obviously shocked like the rest of the nation. We had an anxious couple of weeks not knowing how to deal with a large number of employees and wanting to do the best for them. We employ 36 people and they are so important to us, how they would fare was scary especially as the majority are supporting their families. There is no end in sight and you wonder how many months you can go without taking in income.
How has your business changed over the past few weeks?
I had already been thinking about freezer meals from early March and we had done some tests at Brocco kitchen as well.
Before total lockdown we had realised things were serious, so for Mother’s day and when we were still open but not really wanting people in the building we did take out Sunday roasts and afternoon teas. It was a great success so we changed the business to just the two of us – cooking freezer meals, myself delivering freezer meals and weekend Afternoon teas. We have helped many of our customers who live on their own and have been grateful of the service as well adding a few basic essentials to be delivered alongside. My children have also been helping me on the phones and delivering! A true family business – at least keeps us all occupied.
The picture sums up myself and Leslie, the last two in the business – running a very different model – but we are happy doing it.- especially as the customers have loved the service and have sent many appreciative emails and texts.
How do you see the long-term impact on small businesses?
I believe the long term impact will vary across different businesses and how flexible people are to change and adaptation. It will also be reliant on how long the government can support us too. No one really knows but we are fighting to keep our losses to a minimum by doing some new type of business.
What has been your daily coping strategy in these crazy times?
Playing Motown and soul classics in the kitchen while we are working hard! A little bit of singing and dancing always lifts your mood.
Keeping our sense of perspective and humour. Being kind and caring to our staff, customers and suppliers. We will ensure all our bills are paid, we know we will need all those people when we re open.
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