Dear Crumb Customers,
Lisa and Kate are proud to announce that Crumb is under new management. However it is with somewhat mixed feelings, coming as it does at such a difficult time for all of us, and for our nation. Some of you may be wondering about our timing; and some will question our decision to go ahead with the re-launch of Crumb at this time. We totally understand that. We did the same thing! We talked about this for hours – on the phone or via the internet – about the implications for you, our customers; for us; for our suppliers; and for the Royal Mail. So, in this, our first Blog, we would like to outline how we came to our decision.
We are Lisa and Kate. We are not part of a big, corporate company, we are just two ordinary North East women. We are just two friends, who have a long-shared dream to work together, delivering little slices of happiness to make people’s day! We have been in the process of taking over Crumb from the lovely Clare for almost a year. We have spent months writing Business Plans, sourcing start-up funding, and excitedly planning for the future of Crumb. Our planning and funding finally came together – but in the very week that the country went into lockdown in the grip of this terrible Coronavirus outbreak!
Our first instinct was to try to delay everything. Was this the worst possible time to take on a new business? So, we talked to each other; we talked to our families; we talked to our suppliers; and we did research. These are the questions we asked of ourselves, and others, and the answers we found:
Question: How will we do this safely for you?
- We are adhering strictly to government guidance on social distancing and hygiene. Neither of us, or our family members, currently have any symptoms.
- We don’t bake any products on site, all our gift box contents, including the delicious tray bakes, come from carefully sourced, local suppliers. This also reduces delivery distances, along with our carbon footprint!
- We hold Food Hygiene Certificates, and we pack your gift boxes with love and care, wearing gloves and using tongs.
- We have spoken with our trusted, local bakery who assured us they are taking the same steps, to ensure compliance with current guidance and keep their staff and customers safe. As an essential food supplier, they remain open on government guidance, not to service Crumb.
- As the person sending the gift, you are at no risk at all. You are purchasing online, remotely, via the internet. This is currently safer than shopping in the normal way, and helps you to comply with government social distancing guidance.
- The lucky person receiving your kind gift is not at any more risk from one of our gift boxes than they would be from any other mail, or from supermarket products. Also, as a letterbox delivery, there is no need for them to have any contact with their post staff – which is safer for the post staff too! There is no need to sign for anything; and no missed deliveries, or trips to the depot, if they don’t hear the doorbell.
- Throughout the lockdown period, if either of us, or any of our family members, displayed any symptoms:
- We would go into complete isolation and close down all Crumb business from that site.
- We work 30 miles remotely from each other, and are currently not meeting in person, so no cross-contamination could occur between us.
- Any current orders that were due to be filled from the affected site would be filled from the other site, with customers also given the opportunity to cancel, with a full refund.
- If both families were to be affected at the same time:
- Crumb would close down completely and appropriate isolation periods would be observed, in accordance with government guidance.
- Any orders that were due to be filled would be cancelled, and all affected customers would be given a full refund.
Question: How will we do this safely for us?
- We don’t have any staff, it’s just the 2 of us. Our work on Crumb is completed alone, from our own homes, which are 30 miles apart. This means that we can easily comply with lockdown guidance.
- Crumb is an online business, so we can receive consumable stock safely, delivered to our homes; and we can carry out all our business dealings, and interaction with each other, remotely.
Question: How will we do this safely for our suppliers?
- As part of the transfer of the business, we inherited sufficient stocks of all packaging materials, and non-consumable stock, so that no new deliveries of these items are required during the lockdown period.
- As above, liaison with our bakery has informed us that they remain open for business under current guidance. All deliveries to us would be carried out in accordance with social distancing.
Question: How will we do this safely for the Royal Mail?
- The Royal Mail is pivotal to us to deliver our delicious gifts. We asked ourselves if it was appropriate to use the Royal Mail for delivering non-essential goods at this time. The answer is in the Royal Mail’s current statement which can be found at the link below, it says:
- https://www.royalmail.com/coronavirus?iid=HP_M1_CORONAVIRUS ‘Royal Mail remains open for business. The postal service is a key part of the UK’s infrastructure. The delivery of parcels and letters is a way of keeping the country together, businesses operating, and helping many people who may not have the option to leave their homes.’
Question: Is this a valuable service at this time?
- Is this an essential service? Clearly not, and if the government issued guidance to temporarily suspend trading for online businesses we would absolutely comply immediately.
- The country’s economy is taking a massive hit. All businesses are affected; many may not survive; many jobs are on hold, or may be lost. Current advice from the government is that online businesses are ‘encouraged’ to continue, where they can do this safely for their staff and customers. As outlined above, we believe that Crumb can do this. Every business that can continue to trade safely, and without recourse to government aid, will reduce the country’s future debt, and help the economy to bounce back.
- What we are providing is simply an opportunity for you to be able to continue to send gifts to the friends and family that you aren’t able to see in person.
After all of this research, and soul searching, we made the decision to go ahead with our plans. We trust that you, our valued customers, will understand that this was a decision taken in good faith. We will of course continue to monitor the situation, on a daily basis, and respond to any new guidance to ensure we continue to comply to keep you, our suppliers, and ourselves and our families, safe.
If you would like to surprise someone with one of our lovely gift boxes, we thank you for your custom, and we will do everything we can to complete your order safely, and on time. If you choose not to buy Crumb products during the outbreak, we totally understand, and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future.
Everyone, please stay safe, stay well,
Kate & Lisa x