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How Yorkshire Dales businesses are adapting to COVID-19

With small businesses being hit especially hard by coronavirus-related restrictions, shutdowns and customer unease, many have moved quickly to make changes in order to survive and keep services relevant during this period of uncertainty.

Companies are staying connected to customers in a variety of ways, including creating entirely new services, changing how they deliver products, offering the opportunity for customers to buy vouchers for a future date, and taking advantage of some of the fantastic technology we have to stay in touch.

Here are just some of the many ways that our Yorkshire Dales businesses are taking it upon themselves to adapt to new business changes, deal with concerns and challenges in their communities, and show their support to them. Find out how you can buy local across the County.

Northern Dales

Stage1 Cycles in Hawes, continues to serve the local community ensuring bikes are safe to use for work commutes or permitted daily exercise through their bike repair, services and spares element of the business. They are able to offer free bike repairs for Key workers (initially until June), thanks to a National grant. Contact in advance by social media, email or phone.

Two Dales Bakery in Reeth has enlisted the support of the Swaledale community, to compensate for the loss of trade through its popular bakery shop and café. Within days of the lockdown being announced it had established five community hubs up and down Swaledale and Arkengarthdale. They are back on the road with their wholesale deliveries; villages are allocated a weekly or twice weekly bread delivery and their wonderful hub co-ordinators manage each village’s order and payment.

Elizabeth Fawcett from Humble Pie Cookery Kitchen is opening 17 May. However, in the meantime, she is offering online cookery demos as well as a local delivery service for ready meals, puddings and cakes. This is a truly wonderful example of how one business can not only adapt, but also reach out to the local community. Check out her Facebook page for all the latest.

After a long wait, Fairhursts will be opening their Cafe doors, serving outside from Tuesday 13 April. Fairhursts had to carry out a complete change to their business model in seven days, but had a great response to their ready meals delivery service. Yet another business who has had to adapt and found ways to help the community.

The local shop in Askrigg is run off its feet. Ian Bell from Springhill Beef and Lamb has provided a chilled van for deliveries and a driver for them. It is certainly bringing people together.

Simonstone Hall have created an outside seating area, newly extended terrace and a beautiful new garden layout for alfresco events and outdoor socialising and will be reopening in May. Check out their Facebook page for more.

Every Tuesday, Hawes Chip Shop is using a bike to deliver to vulnerable people in the area.

Even in the face of adversity The Home Farmer with its mobile milk vending service, is still going strong. The farm business is on it’s usual timetable and ensuring the safety of their customers with advice and, of course, hand wash.

A village shop has been set up for local residents in the small village of Carperby.

Sykes House in Askrigg has adapted so that customers can now phone in their orders and are delivering.

Yorkshire Dales Brewery is selling bottled beer direct from the brewery and still delivering to local retailers amidst all the challenges presented by the restrictions.

The Wensleydale Creamery are planning to open their Cheese Shop, Gift Shop and Coffee Shop Garden to serve food and drink outdoors, and to take away, from Monday 12 April. In the meantime get your favourite cheese, deli items, hampers and gifts delivered direct to your door for £3.95 as well as their Weekly Deli Boxes for £29.95.

The Creamery previously offered free online cheesy activities for people to enjoy, from online cheese and butter making demonstrations to cheese pairings. As well as this the Wensleydale Creamery have donated Yorkshire Wensleydale & Cranberry cheese, chutney and fruit cake to the ICU team at Darlington Hospital.

Masons Gin, Spirit of Masham and Harrogate Tipple turned to production of hand sanitiser to help key workers from North Yorkshire County Council, health services and other organisations to stay safe and keep others safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. Taplin and Mageean also switched from making their usual fabulous gin to the production of 80% alcohol hand rub to give away free to local NHS staff. Amazing!

Southern Dales

Town End Farm Shop in Airton, is offering a service where customers can place their order and it will be prepared ready for them to pick up. The Farm Shop & Post Office is open Monday to Saturday 9.30 – 5pm. Takeaway brews, pies and bakes served all day. They have a wonderful variety of Yorkshire Hampers to choose from. From Tuesday 13 April it will be possible to sit on the outside patio tables and the cafe should be back to normal on Tuesday 18 May with a full menu and the ability to sit both indoors and outdoors.

Ramsay’s Fish and Chip round is open on a pre-order system only:
1 – Reducing the distance they travel. 
2 – Changing the rounds and times to spread out busy stops
3 – Pre-order only 
4 – You will be given a time slot for collection.
5 – Card Payment only

The team understand that this means some further out villages may miss out and for this they apologise, they simply want their customers along with themselves to be as safe and protected as possible. More info can be found on their Facebook page.

In Grassington, deli Relish is open and putting together veg boxes and carrying out home deliveries. Grassington Wine Shop has limited opening times but is doing home deliveries. The Hardware Shop is now open Thursday to Saturday.

Grassington House Hotel are welcoming customers back once again to their hotel, restaurant, bar and pod from Wednesday, 19 May. Until then they are offering lockdown takeaway from 12 noon and 3pm from Wednesday to Saturday, alternatively a local delivery service is available. For store cupboard essentials, Grassington House @ Home takeaway pies and meals, online orders are available and can be delivered or picked up from reception as usual but the Terrace will be closed.

John Rudden at Grassington House Hotel opened a ‘shop’ outside the front of the hotel for ‘Rudden’s Rations’ – supplies can be ordered there or online for home delivery, and even takeaway meals. They have also opened a “Pay it Forward” Crowdfunding page to offer customers the opportunity to buy vouchers to support their business into the future.

Old Hall Inn at Threshfield will be ready to serve outdoors again from 12 April. To keep you going until then, they have a takeaway service including ‘Click and Collect Food’ and ‘Sunday Roast delivered to your door’ and Drink. The Red Lion at Burnsall has set up a small fruit and veg/supplies stall.

The Devonshire at Cracoe and the Angel at Hetton have diversified into a food pick up service. The Angel at Hetton will reopen on Thursday 20 May. The Retreat in Grassington is doing veggie boxes and basics, and Yorkshire Nourishment offers plant-based meals and delivers right to your door. The Retreat will be opening on Wednesday 14 April for takeaway coffee/outside seating.

Kettlewell Village Store is now offering a bring-your-own packaging service where you can weigh out smaller quantities of products that are in short supply to save on food wastage. The store’s Facebook page has all the details.

In Settle, The Naked Man Café bakery shop and takeaway is still open and to assist the local community during this national lockdown they are still continuing to offer our free home delivery service which you can now order via their website!

The Boxer and Hound is offering local (contactless) beer, coffee, tea, jam/marmalade and pickle deliveries on a Friday. Car and Kitchen are open online offering a delivery service for their cafe menu. Trevor’s Market Shop and the pet shop, both in Settle, are continuing to open.

Clapham community shop remains open for essential visits, as well as offering home deliveries to those confined at home. During the winter lockdown period the shop will now close at 4.30pm on weekdays.

Elaine’s Tearooms at Feizor is definitely worth a mention – open seven days a week 9am to 3:30pm for takeaways., sandwiches, cakes, hot drinks, and afternoon tea’s pre-ordered. The Game Cock Inn in Austwick is baking bread.

Seasons Bakery in Ingleton continued to make bread when there was a shortage and sourced pasta milk, fruit and veg when it was becoming difficult to source. Their horse trailer is back open ready for that quick pit stop with hot food, tea’s and coffee, a selection of traybakes and of course fresh bread!

Seed Hill Nursery Garden in Ingleton and Lay of the Land gardening centre are open for business. The website will be operational throughout lockdown and local delivery orders can be dropped off if needed before the shop is back open.

Just outside the National Park boundary Country Harvest in Ingleton will be reopening 9am Monday, April 12. Home Deliveries are in full swing, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays and their web-shop is open!

Harling House is reopening on 17 May in accordance with Government legislation for social distancing and are looking forward to welcoming new and familiar guests back to Ingleton.

The Coniston Estate Country Hotel and Spa has been offering grocery boxes and restaurant quality ready meals in its Food and Drink Collection and Delivery Service, with a 10% discount for NHS workers.

Many businesses are offering takeout menus:

The Craven Heifer in Stainforth is offering take away food on Friday and Saturday
The Fox and Hounds in West Burton is offering a take away evening meal service seven days a week, 6pm to 8.30pm. The Queens Arms in Litton – open weekdays & Saturday 12pm to 2.30pm and 5pm to 7.30pm and Sundays 12pm to 5pm. The Queens Arms is usually closed Mondays but is making an exception for outdoor service resuming on the 12 April. The takeaway offer will include the full menu and specials with a 25% reduction for takeaway food.
The Gamekeepers Inn at Threshfield – takeaway available daily from 12-8pm
The Victoria Hotel at Kirkby Malham are offering a new take-away menu with delicious freshly cooked to order and served from 5pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Orders in by 3pm on the day.
The Falcon Inn, Arncliffe – Friday 8 January, 5pm – 7pm haddock or scampi; Sunday 10 January, 5pm – 7pm wagyu burgers.
The Forester’s Arms in Grassington – pizza and burger for takeaway or local delivery, available every evening 5-8pm. Reopening 12 April for outdoor food and beverage!
The Blackhorse Hotel in Grassington – providing a Chinese takeaway menu on Fridays and Saturdays. Unfortunately, they will not be opening their small beer garden in April but the pub and restaurant will be reopening on 17 May,
Zarina’s in Kettlewell is closed.
Cecelia’s Pizzaria in Starbotton – open Friday and Saturday 6pm – 9pm for takeaways
Rozis in Grassington – offering Indian takeaway menu

Western Dales

The Black Bull in Sedbergh have a new outside area opening from 15 April. The restaurant and rooms will be reopening on 19 May. Three Hares Cafe is open as normal, and available online for those who cannot visit. The deli has also gone online.

Previously, The Black Bull decided to dedicate their time (totally unpaid), to preparing healthy, wholesome meals for our valuable NHS frontline carers which will be delivered centrally to their local hospital, Westmorland General in Kendal. They have asked their customers, staff, and friends to donate a little to help them to deliver as many meals as possible.

Both The George Inn at Orton and The Butchers Arms at Crosby Ravensworth are providing a takeaway food and beer service. The Butchers Arms is open for takeaway and The George Inn is operating a delivery service for some individuals who can’t get out easily.

Orton Village Shop and Post Office is open and providing a delivery service for vulnerable people.

The Shap Chippy van is operating as normal but they highly recommend using the Click and Collect service. The shop has slightly reduced hours as follows: Closed Monday and Tuesday; open on evenings on Wednesday and Sunday; open for lunch and evenings on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Card payment only.

Community support

In terms of community support, there is bucket loads:

A Good Life Project – Upper Dales COVID-19 Support Group Facebook group, set up by Julie Greenslade, acts a community support group with the aim of pulling together and co-coordinating different types of support in the Upper Dales, including providing advice for businesses and delivering to people who live alone. It really shows the strong community spirit and caring nature we have in the Dales.

Grassington community support group is providing outreach, errand running and food delivery for those who are unable to get out and about. We’ve also heard about many wonderful village/road WhatsApp groups which are not only providing support, but plenty of entertainment too.

Buckden Community WhatsApp group has been set up to help with prescription collection and shopping, and provides regular coronavirus community support emails with updates on Government advice. And of course not forgetting the village quiz on Sundays which you can join via Zoom – and boy don’t we all love a good quiz!

Settle has set up its own community response group co-ordinated by Settle Community Hub, Settle Victoria Hall and volunteers within the Settle community, offering practical help and a friendly voice. The support group meet at the Quakers every Thursday 10am – 2pm. 

Settle is set to become the UK’s first ‘Rainbow Town’ once the coronavirus lockdown is lifted and businesses are permitted to open. The town has come together and individual shops, accommodation providers and others have co-ordinated their efforts to offer special discounts and offers to frontline NHS staff and care workers, as a way of showing their appreciation and saying thank you.

There are so many good news stories on social media, where businesses have really come together and supported the community and kept their businesses running – it is very heart warming to see. If you are a business in the Yorkshire Dales please share with us how you are adapting and/or contributing to the community – we’d love to hear your story.