Nicolas Sharp is the co-owner of Hunters of Haworth, an artisan pie shop and bakery on Haworth’s Main Street. We spoke to him to find out how the business has coped with the challenges of lockdown and why it’s so important for people to support local business at this time.
What have you done as a business to keep going and reach your customers during the latest lockdown?
We stayed open and in contact all the time. We answer the phone and we reply to every message and email. Its important not to get too dragged down by the world and to really focus on what you can do… What you can achieve for your customers.
How easy has it been to adapt what you do for tackle out/takeaway?
For our products its very easy, we concentrate on using ethical materials in line with our ethos and changing our routines instore to help our customers feel safe.
How has lockdown 3.0 compared to the previous two for you?
Business is still busy, but it’s a shadow of what we expect. So that’s depressing, we understand that people are tired, of the rules, the media and the ways that our normal lives have changed so we put more effort into being friendly, making connections and taking the time to listen.
What do you miss the most about being open as normal?
We miss the little things.. The noise, the hustle and bustle, the smiles and learning something unexpected from a customer, we even miss the mess and all the tidying up!
Lots of people are recreating the restaurant experience at home with date nights or family meals out ‘in’. What would you recommend from your menu for a special night in?
You can’t beat a good pie and simple vegetables. It’s magic on a plate. Our products are designed to be easy to use. A simple menu that’s achievable so no one gets stressed and you can put time and effort into the people you’re sharing with.
Why is it important for people to support businesses like yours in the current situation?
It’s important to support businesses like mine because its not just me. You’re also supporting the local Butcher, the guy roasting coffee down the road, the local hero’s. We’re all connected. Supporting a local business is like injecting a shot of confidence in your local community.
What are your hopes for the rest of 2021 and what do you have planned as a business?
As a business, we are going to expand, perhaps with another site. But we have a lot of plans for the existing store first. Our personal hopes are that we will welcome people without masks. Without restrictions and we can appreciate everything we have with a greater sense of gratitude.
Are there any positives to come from the pandemic? Anything you have learned or adopted that will change the way you do things in the future?
I have learned that people will constantly surprise you. The bad. But also the good. But mostly the good.
Remember to follow rules and restrictions during Coronavirus. Please wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering when required, and maintain a safe distance from others.