It’s no doubt been a very interesting time for Hall Farm, typically they are most popular for their restaurant/cafe, however they are also a shop for local foods, therefore have become an essential local service. We caught up with one of their assistant managers, Mandy Lucas, who has worked with Hall Farm for over a decade to ask how business is holding up.
We asked how they are dealing with what is happening at the moment, “because of changes we have made to enable social distancing, we have altered our routines and adapted quite quickly to a new way of working” Mandy commented.
More specifically, Mandy explains they are helping customers with “The markings on the floor, [which] make it easy to see the distance needed.” She continued “We have sourced a wider range of stock, both from regular suppliers and some new ones. Listening to customer requests when we can and our ethos has always been good customer service” – which is great news.
She continues “Customer service is always a priority, we continue to do what we can, we are very aware particularly working in a small environment that we need to keep on top of distancing and hygiene practices – we have also worked with local volunteering groups to ensure that we have supported any vulnerable people in the surrounding villages.”
Thinking ahead, the future cannot be predicted but we questioned what the demand for their service might be like when things return to normal, Mandy expresses “I hope that when things return to normal, we will not only see our regular customers returning that are self-isolating at present, but also the new faces that have become regulars during the crisis.”
As for the history, we asked for some background – Mandy explained, “The business has been operating for around 20 years with the addition of the restaurant in 2008, due to a change in the Farming climate” and continued, “The farm shop has a regular staff of 6 full time and 3 part time team members that work with the family that own the business as well as three full time butchers, we also have the service of two of our restaurant employees as well as two chefs keeping our home made goods stocked up.”
We also asked if the current climate has increased the market for their products and services – “During these difficult times we are finding customers prefer to do their shopping in our smaller more relaxed atmosphere of the farm shop, particularly for items the larger stores are struggling to supply such as baking goods.” It also opening up a slightly wider clientele, as Mandy adds “The local community, as well as new faces from slightly further afield, are using us because of our variety and quality of produce provided in a safe and friendly way.” However, “We need to continue to listen to advice as soon as it becomes available to adapt our services to ensure our customers continue to feel happy and safe enough to use us.”
That said, their clients trust them and remain loyal because they know they can count on them for “A regular supply of item, and a wide variety to cater for all needs, as well as good and friendly customer service.”