Lock Down Legends Business Award Shortlist

A Yorkshire food or drink business / individual that has creatively adapted to survive or helped to support others within the industry.

Click here to vote now

Relish, Grassington 

“I would like to nominate Rachel Younger from Relish in Grassington, who has kept our little village stocked with loo rolls and hand sanitiser when stocks were in such short supply. Her deli continued to serve the community throughout with food drops to people self-isolating and she also worked with the local bookstore to ensure that the children of the village were kept entertained with free books to read. 

“Rachel adapted the shop to stock literally everything you could ever need during lockdown and it was like a little safe place for the people of Grassington to get their food from instead of heading into the more crowded Skipton town centre. By expanding and doing fruit and veg boxes she also kept the fruit and veg suppliers in business. The ready meals were also very welcomed by many families in the village who found themselves having to work full time whilst also looking after the children. It was lovely to have home cooked style meals to give to the family.

“We live on the same road as Rachel and we can vouch that she has been putting in many more hours in at Relish over the last few months. This would be a lovely way to thank her from everyone in the village. She is now adapting the shop even further now that visitors are returning to the village.”

Ye Old Sun Inn, Colton

Just before the lockdown, Kelly McCarthy initiated a Colton Village support group aimed at ensuring vulnerable members of the community had a nominated personal point of contact. She then established a WhatsApp group for communicating needs in our community.
The group has evolved into a daily source of information and updates; shopping requests; recipe ideas; sharing jokes and videos, games for the kids, ideas for crafting and family activities. The group has noticeably stimulated a greater sense of community. 

Initially, Ye Old Sun Inn launched a limited range of take away meals and essential food and items. A local home delivery service was made available for those unable to travel or in self-isolation.

Following feedback from the community, the Sun Inn adapted its offer to a wider range of essential food and household items. The internal layout of the pub was adapted to ensure customers felt and stayed safe whilst shopping. 

As the months progressed and changes were announced by central Government the team continued to adapt. The “shop” offer was slightly reduced as the “pub & restaurant” business was brought back into operation. 

They continued to deliver groceries, ready meals and fresh baked goods to everyone who needs them on designated days. 
They also continued to supply meat and fish to order and an extensive range of takeaway options as well as their Ice cream and coffee kiosk. 

Their clear message throughout – the health and safety of their customers and staff. They have been truly exceptional – keeping their staff in employment for as many hours as possible and galvanising the support and positivity of the ever-wider community that holds them in great esteem.

Grassington House

Like many others in the hospitality industry, diversity has been key to survival and Grassington House restaurant and hotel has really pulled out all the stops to bring the community together with new and innovative ideas.

The team initial priority was the safety and wellbeing of their loyal team on furlough, before turning their attention to how best to weather the storm after building the business from nothing over twelve successful years. 

So, from the terrace, come rain or shine, Rudden’s Rations and Grassington House H@me were born!

Rudden’s Rations provided a ‘one stop shop’ for all locals to purchase fresh local produce, home baked pies, and sausage rolls online. From seasonal fruit and vegetables, to dairy, meats, fish and dry goods, the front of the restaurant quickly became a ‘store cupboard of goodies’ for all villagers and surrounding locals to take advantage of. At a time when everyone was feeling especially low and some feeling vulnerable, one of the best features was the fruit cart where local children could swop a ‘happy picture’ for a piece of fruit from Super Suey the fruit lady! The ‘shop’ also gave locals the opportunity to work alongside the initiative. Joe Stubbs, a bread maker was able to utilise the restaurant’s ovens and sell his bread which was a win-win. Rudden’s Rations was a full-page feature in the Saturday, 18th July edition, in the Rural Life section of the Yorkshire Post, written by Chris Berry, it was entitled, ‘Rations that helped feed a village’.

Grassington House H@me opened shortly afterwards with a selection of delicious take-outs, featuring pick and mix options that you can prepare in your kitchen from signature dishes like a traditional beef wellington to the mouth-watering old fashioned, sticky toffee puddings. Ordering online and socially distanced collection from the terrace, allowed everyone to pick up their goods safely and use contactless payments. 

Bert’s Barrow

Bert’s Barrow are always banging the drum for local produce, but after Corona virus hitting In the middle of March they became a hub for so many local businesses and people alike. 

After losing theincome from the event barn overnight, the shop wasn’t big enough to have staff and customers in safely and efficiently enough for the demand. The web sales for delivery went through the roof (300 orders in 48 hours) and we just didn’t have the man power to fulfil everyone’s orders

We quickly realised we needed to diversify to survive and so set about making a contact-free and safe way of shopping.  On the day lockdown was announced we were the first in the region to open a drive-thru farm shop. Customers were able to open the boot whilst in the queue, put their list in the window and our team would get everything ready put it in the boot before taking contactless payment through the window.  It worked a treat!

The beauty of it was that the customer and staff were safe and we were stocking everything we had in the shop and more through the drive thru, thus supporting over 100 local businesses. 

We were selling 600 packs of Annas Happy Trotters sausage a week and around 200 fruit veg and salad boxes a day! 100 whole chickens a week from Soanes, 480 bread cakes a day and 90 loaves from Crusties in Sherburn along with much more. Knead n Feed our local pizza firm set up in the barn making pizza fresh for people to take home and cook, again supporting another local business who had lost all their income over night. We also did drive thru ice cream, coffee & Friday night street food nights once the restriction began to ease.

In our busiest times throughout April and May we were employing 10 staff (we only had 1 full time employee before this) There were all people we would usually work with that had lost their income too, like Kira the falconer who lost her experience days, Paul the bouncy castle man we use for the events, Dean and Simon from Elite Event hire as all weddings were cancelled and Alice who worked for Jet2

Sue Nelson from Yorkshire Food Finder helped us to design the veg boxes then do recipes for her blog for people to cook at home called www.lockdowneatup.co.uk

We set up a go fund me page raising over £1000 for the NHS to send  hampers with fresh fruit and veg to local front line Covid wards and also sent produce to the local Knottingley food bank.

The drive thru sales stopped overnight like someone had turned the tap off in the middle of June and we were left with over £4000 worth of stock, the hardest part of it is forecasting what we will sell. Jason and I knew we needed to change things quickly so we closed the drive thru and extended the shop.  We now we have a larger farm shop stocking even more products and have revamped our website so customers can now click and collect which helps us with ordering and stock control and allows customers who don’t want to come into the shop to have their good put straight into their bot.

The farming still needed attention throughout lockdown too, we managed to grown 13500 pumpkins from seed, open the PYO strawberries and Hattie and Tilly were off school too. Customers can now sit on site and enjoy a coffee, pizza or a pint in the barn and outside and we have more footfall than before.

Harrogate Tipple Ltd!

We never thought we’d see the day that hand sanitiser would be in more demand from a gin distillery than the gin itself, but here we are! The last few months have been a period of adaptation for our business, as it has been for many. We saw our gin sales significantly drop overnight at the beginning of lockdown as the hospitality industry had to be put on pause for the foreseeable future. What started as an extremely daunting time for us here at Harrogate Tipple, has turned into a busy journey that has allowed us to add a new string to our bow! 

As the Coronavirus led to a huge shortage of hand sanitiser worldwide, it was heartbreaking to learn that many of our local hospitals, doctors surgeries and businesses were struggling to get their hands on it, especially when a lot of their services relied on having access to it. We came across a gin distillery in Scotland who had started to produce hand sanitiser and it naturally made us curious as to whether we could do the same! Afterall, we had no shortage of the alcohol needed to make it…

After a lot of research and brainstorming with our close team, we found that we could get our hands on the additional items we needed in order to produce hand sanitiser. We sourced the ingredients, managed to get hold of some bottles and were able to get labels printed really quickly. Since then, we’ve been run off our feet with the production of 80% alcohol hand rub in our distillery! The hand rub we produce is in line with the World Health Organisation’s formula, and in addition to selling individual 500ml bottles on our website, we’ve also supplied bottles to the likes of Harrogate Borough Council (as well as others across the country) and Royal Mail, among many other businesses. As we are able to make such a strong 80% volume hand rub, the sanitiser we produce is able to kill off the virus. And despite its strength, our sanitiser isn’t as drying as many others.

It has been a journey to say the least, with our local MP, Andrew Jones, helping us to waive the duty due on producing 80% alcohol based sanitiser, which allowed us to produce and sell as much as we are now able to. We’re still continuing with the production of our gin and it’s great to see many of our customers purchasing a bottle of gin with their bottle of sanitiser, and vice versa. All of the essentials!

We were so proud to supply the Nightingale Hospital here in Harrogate and also Harrogate Hospital as well as many GP practices and dental surgeries throughout Yorkshire. We also supplied the likes of Northumberland Blood Bikes who were in desperate need. 

We were filmed for both national and international news as well as been filmed for a special feature length documentary about the pandemic that will be due out at the end of the year. It was amazing to find out people had seen us on their screens in countries such as Brazil and Australia.

Due to the success of our products we have now gained a permanent license to produce sanitiser. This has lead us to also produce Sanitiser Stations for shops, restaurants, bars, caravan sites etc. 

Bob Young and Zane Tulley

When the farmers market closed Bob and Zane came up with the idea of a market collective and started by contacting the markets usually attended Headingly, Oakwood and Horsforth and their traders. 

The traders then supplied a list of products and customers ordered their requirements which were then collected monthly from Swillington Organic Farm. This took place for 3 months while the markets were unable to trade.  Bob, Zane and Zanes partner Magdelana sorted and packed all the orders themselves, done voluntary without payment and all the traders had to do was drop of the produce. This enabled the markets to keep going throughout lockdown and kept in touch with customers. The traders involved included Thistlemist Farm, Stickeys Honey, Swillington Organic Farm and Headbangers, Leeds Bread Co-Op Cryer and Stott, Yorkshire Dama cheese, Yorkshire Orchards, Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil, Whole in the Ground Coffee, Back Garden Blooms.

As a seperate initiative Bob and Zane organised an essentials home delivery service, this was under their own Headbangers business, in addition to meat organic eggs, veg and bread were added and delivered to homes around Leeds.