Business as unusual – Palmer Street Bottle

During these unprecedented times, businesses across the country have been adapting to a new ‘normal’. From increasing their online presence to, in some cases, radically changing the services and products they offer.

Frome prides itself on its streets of flourishing independent retailers. An eclectic mix, including fashion, jewellery, homewares and galleries, not to mention bars and eateries.

We’ve been catching up with retailers across the town to see how the Covid-19 lockdown has affected their business, what they’ve been doing to survive and how the community has responded.

We caught up with Simon Bowden from Palmer Street Bottle

Palmer Street Bottle signHow did your business operate before the lockdown?

Before lockdown we operated as an off licence, café, bar and cheese counter.

What are the main changes you’ve made since the lockdown and what challenges have you faced?

At the moment we don’t feel it’s morally right to be open as an off licence so are operating a delivery service on Tuesday and Friday with orders from our website and are open 12-2pm Fridays & Saturdays for growler refills, website orders and collections!

The main challenges we face is social distancing, as when restaurants, bars etc are allowed to open we will only be able to fit a small number of people in due to the 2 metre rule, thus loosing money probably until after Christmas and into next year when things should improve.

What has been the response from your customers?

Our customers have been amazing and regulars and new customers are ordering regularly.

If/when things return to ‘normal’ will you continue with any of the changes you’ve made or introduced?

Hopefully our online presence will help the business grow more and have another revenue stream.

Palmer Street Bottle beer bottlesDo you think this experience will have a long-term effect on the direction/focus of your business?

Yes and no, medium term it will be a hard slog but long term, our focus will stay the same and will look to grow the business.

Do you have any plans to relaunch your business when restrictions are completely lifted? 

So when we can open fully we are looking at having a full street party involving local businesses along with the Frome craft beer festival in October.

Palmer Street Bottle are offering free delivery to BA11 postcodes on Tuesdays and Fridays. Order wine, cheese and craft beer and cider from their website.  Also open 12-2pm Fridays & Saturdays for growler refills and website order collections.

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