November 17th 2020
Website is open as normal and we are very happy to welcome new customers. The increase in demand has been much calmer during this lockdown and (aside from 24hrs on Tuesday 3rd Nov), we do not anticipate having to shut down the site like last time, even though we are currently operating close to capacity.
November 3rd 2020
Short summary of the below:
- We are unable to accept any further new customer orders today (Tues 3rd Nov) for delivery this Thursday or Friday.
- If you are an existing customer that usually leaves it until late on a Tuesday to shop each week, please try to shop as early as possible this morning.
- We aim to keep the website open as normal and will prioritise existing customers.
- It remains our plan to open the Christmas shop/order book tomorrow.
- We hope to increase capacity modestly and may be able to accept new customer orders again next week.
A little more detail.
I was going to start with “well here we go again…”, but, that probably isn’t quite true. There are quite a number of differences vs where we found ourselves in the Spring;
We all have a much better idea of what we are dealing with, we know that our food won’t run out, we have learnt from the experience of the first lockdown and there appears to be a much greater sense of calm than before.
From our side;
We have increased growing and packing capacity on the farm - the packing shed is now significantly bigger than it was at the start of this year which makes packing day so much easier.
Increased delivery capacity - we now have three of our own vans on the road on both a Thursday and Friday.
We have increased the number of permanent team members and improved processes to make the business less reliant on George and I.
You may remember that in the Spring we underwent a significant effort to identify and prioritise customers most in need, now that has happened, we feel comfortable to keep things simple and prioritise existing customers.
There’s a ‘but’ coming…
One of the real successes of the year for us is the number of new customers that we have managed to retain - the implication of this, is that we have regularly been operating at more than 80% of our absolute maximum capacity (based on an 'overnight' increase in demand that outstrips supply).
We now have a much bigger customer base (which is fantastic), many of whom choose to shop on a fairly ad-hoc basis - this means that if a much higher proportion of existing customers decide to shop in the same week, every week, we will find ourselves around capacity without accepting any new customer orders whatsoever.
This is roughly where we find ourselves today. George will be doing what he can to increase the number of boxes we can supply and we will always find a way of delivering them to you. We really don’t want to go back the very basic product range we reverted to in the Spring, and being realistic, we probably can’t cope to close the site and only accept orders/changes over email like we did before.
Our goal is to keep the range 'normal' and the site open for regular shopping throughout. From what we have seen so far this should be possible, but, we learned in the Spring to expect the unexpected. I will keep you well informed just as we did then - for now, other than not being able to accept any additional new customer orders for this week, it’s business as usual.
Hope you and family are well, and thank you for shopping with us, as always.