Life at Strathearn Cheese during the pandemic
It would be hard not too mention COVID-19 in our new blog. Like everybody else, the pandemic has been a really difficult time to adapt to and deal with. Although much reduced, we kept up with production making around 90 Strathearn and Wee Comrie and just a few Lady Mary cheeses each week.
Farmer's markets and hotels, restaurants, cafes all had to stop. What a terrible time, this has been for our trade customers!
So, back to the drawing board! Having discussed many times the possibilities of launching an online shop, we took the plunge and in late March: strathearn-cheese-co.myshopify.com went live! It started with a bang! Due to a great mention on the ITV (STV in Scotland) James Martin's Islands to Highlands show, when James cooked a cheese toastie using our Strathearn Cheese and sourdough from our neighbours, the huge volume of orders put us to the test. It was quite frustrating really that some of our hard work was messed up with delivery issues. Royal Mail was, understandably, under huge amount of pressure and some orders didn't make the next day delivery, Sorry if you were affected!
The online shop is continuing to grow, we now have added Cheddar from the St Andrews Cheese Company, Lanark Blue from Errington Cheese and some incredibly tasty oatcakes flavoured with our Strathearn Cheese from the talented baker Barnett and Son in Anstruther.
Those businesses lucky enough to remain open, had to adapt also. So, we continued to supply local delis and farmshops. We are so grateful to them and to the members of the public who supported them and us. THANK YOU!
Another surprise was the incredible explosion of the online farmer's markets. Through platforms like Neighbourfood and the Openfood network, fans of artisan and local products were still able to buy and collect at designated points where we would drop off our cheeses. Once again, it was very humbling to receive the support from people. So, if you have bought our product there, THANK YOU!
Restrictions are now easing and hotels and restaurant have started to re-open, tourists are back, visiting this beautiful country and we are now back on the road 3 times /week delivering to them. Anna and Curstaidh have come back from furlough and we are now back to full strength. Thank you to them for being so accommodating.
Farmer's markets are once again becoming part of our weekly routine.
Next ones are: Stirling and Bowhouse (Fife) on 8th August, Leven and Pitlochry on 15th and Aberfoyle on 22nd.
Hope we can see you there!