Homebaked Anfield uses its cafe to support local Liverpool suppliers
3 years ago
Homebaked Bakery in Anfield is giving over its café to help support local suppliers and makers during lockdown.
The community bakery, which is usually a big favourite with Reds fans heading to the match, took the decision to keep its café closed to protect customers and staff.
But rather than leave the space unused, it will be offered to other neighbouring businesses who might need a boost during the new tighter regulations.
Angela McKay, operations manager at Homebaked, explained:
“It’s taken us a long time to get a lovely atmosphere in our building but because of the restrictions we’ve had people coming in and asking to sit in and we’ve had to say no.
“Our business isn’t just solely as a café, it’s selling fresh bread daily to local people and selling pies, so if someone sat in then tested positive for Covid we would have to shut and all three strands of our business would be gone.
“We can’t afford for that to happen because there are 18 people relying on us, but without the café the space is deserted. Even though people are still able to talk over the counter and have that interaction, which is the main thing, it feels as though we’ve lost a bit of our soul because we’ve not got as many people in here.
“That’s why we spoke with our veg and our meat suppliers and asked what we could do to support them.”
Angela says many suppliers and makers have been having a tough time, especially since the curfew and Tier 3 measures.
“Most of their trade comes from restaurants and they’re telling us that the city centre is dead, everyone’s really cut down or closed,” she says.
“During lockdown our meat suppliers did a pack you could buy for delivery so I’ve said to them, ‘give us your order form and we’ll promote you.’ We’ve also set aside a space for veg, we’re already selling jam and we’re waiting to get honey in.”
Because they’re limited for space – the café only had seven tables – Angela says it won’t be possible to stock everyone’s products in there.
“And obviously we’ve got to be conscious of food hygiene, but even if people just want to give us a poster and if we can do anything to help anyone then we will because we are a community business ourselves.”
She hopes the idea will not only help suppliers, but customers too, especially those who might be worried about where they do their shopping.
“We’ve got a lot of pensioners and families who live locally so if they don’t feel safe going to a supermarket, or they might not want to get 5lb of potatoes or a big bag of carrots, they can just come here and get what they need loose.
“We’re doing it at cost price, we’re not making any money, but we want to fill our shop and then when people come in they can support local suppliers and it saves them having to go outside of the area.”
Since it reopened after the spring shutdown, Homebaked Bakery has been takeaway only, and it’s put measures in place so customers feel safe to return.
“We’ve tried to keep our staff numbers as small as possible at any one time and we only have two people in the shop at once, people order what they want then wait outside, so we’ve got it running as smoothly as we can in such a small space.”
With no sign of crowds coming back for live games yet, Homebaked is planning on bringing back a pie delivery service in November too.
“We can sell hundreds of pies on match days, so we need to keep that business going in other ways to help cover our overheads and keep people employed,” says Angela.
“Hopefully people will want to support us, they want our pies and having delivery means we can go out to them rather than them coming into Anfield. We delivered during the last lockdown as far as Huyton, Aigburth and Bootle and we’ve had enquiries from Wirral so we’re looking to expand to more postcodes this time.
“The pies are delivered frozen, they last in the freezer for up to three months, and the minimum order is only £10, plus £1 delivery charge.
“The feedback we’ve had has all been really positive and it was nice to see a lot of matchgoers at home so it’ll be lovely to have that connection again.”