Why Charlbury Deli hasn't re-opened its indoor cafe
In spite of lockdown, Charlbury Deli is currently selling more groceries than this time last year. More and more people have been depending on us for food bigger shops haven't been able to sell, for better food and for more attentive service.
Even without a full cafe operation, our sales on Saturday July 4 were up on the same day last year - and we had as many customers as on a typical 2020 Saturday before lockdown.
But if just one Covid case were traced back to a contact someone had made in the Deli, we'd have to send staff home for a fortnight. If that happened, we haven't got enough people trained and able to circulate to keep the shop open.
Mercifully, our customers' loyalty and taxpayers' generosity over the past three months make us financially healthy enough not to be desperate for the extra business a full cafe re-opening might create.
So right now, we're changing almost nothing about the way we’ve been running the Deli. We’ll still sell the best range of groceries (and greengrocery and wine) for miles around – and over the next few months, we plan to improve that range.
We’ll still sell the best hot coffee (and tea) in the Cotswolds: but for the moment we’d prefer you to drink it at our outside seating or at the Town's public seats. We’d be delighted to sell you one of our famous home-made cakes or quiches, make you a fresh sandwich or offer you something from our range of savouries: but until things get a lot clearer, we won’t be re-instating our full meal menu.
We’ll be reviewing this every week, and at some point we’ll certainly become Charlbury’s buzzing hub again. But we don’t think now is quite the time.
We want to keep seeing our loyal customers and the new visitors this summer's going to attract to Charlbury. We don't want to risk being forced to close. And, from the reaction we've had so far, most Charlburians seem to agree with us