Reflecting on 2020 has actually made us surprisingly proud. Proud of our industry, our team and most importantly our customers. ‘Challenging’, ‘unprecedented’, ‘heart-breaking’… just a few words that could summarise 2020 in general, but our word of choice is most certainly proud. Considering a pandemic on such a scale that we never could have imagined experiencing in our lifetime, our customers (our friends) fought hard to survive. They fought hard to innovate. They fought hard to continue serving their communities. They fought hard to keep people going; to keep their communities smiling. So yeah, we are so, damn PROUD.
We want to share some of our friend’s stories. We want to highlight how these savvy individuals pivoted, innovated, and reimagined their business…practically overnight and succeeded throughout the last 10, quite honestly, shitty months. So, let’s celebrate some of our amazingly innovative friends.
First, we travel across the pond to Irvinestown, the home of the Mozzarella Fellas aka Kieran & Darren. This fantastic duo wanted to infiltrate their customers’ homes with the deliciously, moreish smell of baking pizzas; but not in the way you would expect. The Fellas teamed up with their local butchers and local ‘corner’ shops to bring their ‘Home Pizza Kits’ to their people. Their aim? To keep the kids busy, the parents sane and most importantly, secretly train the next generation of Fellas! Well done Fellas, putting smiles on the kids’ faces, stopping the adults from going stir-crazy and for supporting other local businesses whilst you are at it! You guys are awesome, may your greatness continue in 2021.
Scottish husband and Italian wife duo, Laura & Steven, proud owners of La Sicilyana and wine connoisseurs decided Christmas called for their customers to have a little Italian indulgence to lift their spirits! Stuffing signature red boxes with classic panettone, exclusive Sicilian wine, handmade chocolates, and their hand-picked coffee beans. From their bistro in Perth, this lovely couple packed up their Italian Christmas hampers and made them available nationally, allowing customers to enjoy a little bit of La Sicilyiana from the comfort of their own homes! Locals were invited to collect their lovingly made hampers from the shop, receiving them with a grateful smile from the owners themselves. Way to spread the Italian Christmas love guys, we salute you.
Forever keeping a smile on our faces with their funny and light-hearted social media banter, another pizza baking at home lockdown hero in our repertoire of amazing friends is Oscar & Rosie’s. We spoke to Olly about the challenges of lockdown “Since closing for dine in we have ramped up our takeaway service using an off the peg online ordering app which is then delivered by a local taxi firm. We’d always been a bit Luddite with this sort of thing so having to drag ourselves into the 21st century has been a positive and our takeaway service will hopefully continue to be an asset when things go back to normal” What started as a lockdown experiment, pizza genius Olly’s ‘O&R pizza by post’ has developed into a national pizza phenomenon! Now, in its full glory pizza by post is a membership package that’s see’s four fresh handmade, delicious O&R pizzas arrive on your doorstep each month, without fail. All O&R pizzas feature award winning, free range and seasonal produce. Speaking of his genius spin on pizza at home Olly told us “It’s a totally new business direction for us but plays to a lot of our existing strengths and is infinitely scalable in a way that a restaurant isn’t. Encouraging early results mean we hope that it will play a large part in our future and that in years to come we’ll look back on the disruption that gave birth to it fondly” Olly – you the pizza man, we wish O&R pizza by post every success and thank the lord that something positive came out of this storm for you!
One of our first full consultancy customers and firm friends of ours Ditto, spent the majority of the first lockdown working hard on their ‘secret garden’. Not only would their beautiful alfresco area allow their locals to dine safely outside it expanded their general capacity with all social distancing measures in place. Unfortunately, as the world didn’t recover as we all hoped, Ditto have yet to be able to give their loyal customers the full alfresco experience. We spoke to Sam about how Ditto pivoted to drum up revenue as the whole industry were forced to close “During the pandemic, ditto has faced many highs are lows. As we are still a relatively new business, we knew we would have to find a way through the lockdowns to keep trading to the best of our ability.” So, throughout it all Ditto have been offering their regulars ‘ditto to you’ as well as teaming up with their fresh produce supplier to create a ‘ditto grocery’ when people were too afraid to enter the germ-infested supermarkets, ditto were there to help. Sam told us “Ditto to you and our ditto grocery service, both flew from day one in the first lockdown and this greatly helped us to increase our target audience. It has also brought the team closer together and am confident to say that we will be bigger, better and stronger as a business when we open up again on the other side.” Sam, we sincerely hope that your friends can enjoy the hard graft you put into the secret garden this year, it thoroughly deserves to be enjoyed.
On a final note, we wanted to shout out the legends at BrewDog. Throughout the last year they have dished out free beers, created new lockdown brews, busted out lockdown survival kits, put plans in place to build forests and most importantly, they offered to help. BrewDog made legend status by lobbying the government to use their closed venues to assist with the roll out of the vaccine, for free. If that isn’t a reason to feel proud of our innovative industry friends, we don’t know what is.
We fight on, together.