It feels like a while since I last posted a blog. I had one prepared and ready to go, but then along came Corona-virus, and it just didn't feel the right time.
The last blog was, in a nutshell, going to go something like this -
Trading is difficult in the wettest February on records, floods are really bad, and I'm trying to come up with a range of unique in store experiences.
Much of this now seems somewhat irrelevant with what we're facing into right now.
With the country entering lock down to help control the spread of this horrendous virus, among the confusion the government closed all shops, quickly announcing that off-licences such as myself were to be classed as essential shops (in other news, did anyone hear the Pope is a Catholic?!) and could therefore remain open.
This presented a real dilemma - open and hope to get through unscathed or follow the advise to stay at home and help protect the NHS. The responsible thing to do seemed to be to stay closed until I felt comfortable that I could keep myself and customers safe. We all have bills to pay, but surely in times like this, health is more important than money.
Fast forward a few weeks, G&T's in the garden and a ripped up front lawn, and the doors are back open (last week as I write this) for the first time. It felt very strange, with most people still very much choosing to stay in doors, but thankfully some people were venturing out and were happy to call in for some bottles, providing some much needed socially distant interaction.
During the 'enforced hibernation' time I've decided to improve my rum knowledge, and reading 101 Rums to Try Before You Die has inspired me to expand the range to become the place to go for your specialist rums - those rum enthusiasts out there keep watching; I haven't even scratched the surface of whats available yet.
Finally, I just want to give a massive shout out to my suppliers. Whether wholesale or individuals, I've had people calling from all over the country. Not to sell anything, not to 'push product' but just to check in. It's massively appreciated, and hopefully everyone comes through the other side of this horrible mess stronger and we can reconvene with our in store tastings and start having some fun again!
Really hope all of you reading this (if anyone's made it this far!) are keeping safe and hope to see you soon.