Geraldine Levison, branch manager at Ison Harrison’s Chapel Allerton branch spoke to Nicola Newlove who owns Crust and Crumb Café about the challenges they have faced during and post-lockdown.

Nicola has certainly been very creative in the service she is providing to locals. She has even introduced a ‘drive through’ service at the rear of the café so customers can order online and collect their order without even having to get out of their car.

When they were forced to close on the 23rd March Nicola immediately moved to an online click and collect service 3 days a week offering ‘essential items’ such as cakes, pastries, sausage rolls etc. This proved to be very popular and their online following increased from 2k to 3.5k followers.

Nicola said “I wanted to make sure I looked after my older customer base too who were shielding and so I provided a delivery service for them.”

Post-lockdown the business continues to operate on more of a take away basis. In addition to the drive through service customers can still pop into the café. Screens have been fitted and a few tables are available but the food is served more as ‘street food’ that can be taken away.

The usual hustle and bustle on the streets of Chapel Allerton has started to be restored to some extent and Nicola has seen things start to get busier again. An Art Trail has been set up in the absence of the popular festival and this has helped to get people back onto the high street, however Nicola is realistic about the challenges that lie ahead.

“Having recently seen the new restrictions imposed across the country I have been keen to ensure that our business model is ‘bullet proof’ so that whatever happens we can continue to offer a takeaway service to our customers.”

Nicola is working hard on a new website and has been having her delicious food  photographed to further improve her delivery service and no doubt will then be thinking about what she can do next to keep this successful local business going at this difficult time.

Geraldine Levison, Solicitor and branch manager at Ison Harrison’s Chapel Allerton office said “Crust and Crumb is our ‘go to’ cake stop in Chapel Allerton. I have been amazed at how quickly Nicola has adapted to the changing situation on the high street and I’m delighted that she is still able to offer her delicious food and cakes to customers.”

See photo of  Geraldine and Nicola outside Crust and Crumb, Crust and Crumb’s drive through service and some of the delicious food that they have on offer