Posted: 27.06.20 at 22:24 by My Coffee Stop
A Shepton Mallet mum has been juggling home learning with ensuring her customers get their essential groceries as safely as possible.
During the coronavirus lockdown, she re-purposed the coffee and zero waste shop business that she runs with her partner, Gunter Hollenstein, on Shepton Mallet High Street, into a Covid Secure Essential Grocery shop.
Karen said: "I've been teaching our youngest son Elijah, while running the shop and we've had amazing support from St Paul's Junior School throughout these very difficult and strange times but it has been really hard trying to take orders from our customers, keep on top of the orders we have to make from our suppliers, make sure we pay the bills on time, do everything as safely as possible and make sure that my two boys are getting a good education and staying safe too.
"Joshua, our oldest son, is responsible for setting his own routine and getting on with his work autonomously as he is studying for A-levels but our youngest son, Elijah, needs a lot more support and guidance.
"At times it has been a real struggle to cope with trying to keep everything up in the air and I have felt torn between doing my work well and making sure that Elijah enjoys his education. I can imagine that there are lots of parents in that very same position.
"The answer to my problems of trying to balance out everything and not becoming completely overwhelmed and stressed, with the situation, was to sit down and create a website where every single product in our shop is listed and to get pictures on there too.
"When I first started providing the groceries for contactless pick up or on foot contactless delivery, I had to take the order via social media messaging, or email, prepare an individual payment link, wait for the payment to go through and then, I had to arrange a personal pick up slot, or delivery time.
"Now that we have launched the website, that is all done for me. It even keeps the stock up to date for me.
"It has been absolutely brilliant and it means that I now have an achievable and enjoyable home learning routine with my youngest son that isn't disrupted by my work commitments.
"I am pleased to say that our customers have taken to it really well and have said that it is easier and quicker for them to order that way too.
"Gunter and I just want to make sure that we a providing a good service for our customers that is timely and safe.
"We will get back to pouring coffee one day but not right now. I imagine we will keep operating in this way for the forseeable future."
My Coffee Stop has been on Shepton Mallet High Street for nearly seven years now and is well known for being a quirky place to hang out and enjoy coffee, and for providing ethical groceries alongside.
People have been purchasing their coffee beans to enjoy at home instead and the business will be concentrating on fulfilling orders from their website, which is plant-based and has several zero waste items.
Karen said: "I just want people to be able to stay safe and happy, if we can help them to do that, then we will be very happy in our work indeed and our family will be happy too."