Facing COVID-19: The iconic Newcastle market bringing fresh food to thousands through new online service
A historic Newcastle market has reaffirmed its long-standing commitment to the city by launching an online delivery service amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Traders at the Grainger Market in the centre of the city launched a new delivery service on March 26 in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Led by Emma Claude Phillips of the French Oven Bakery and her father John Philips John Philips, who operates the market’s Oliver’s Café and chairs the Grainger Market traders group, graingerdelivery.com delivers goods from the market’s traders to customers across Newcastle and the surrounding areas.
The service offers deliveries of meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and baked goods from the 185-year old market, and has been supported by Newcastle City Council and NE1, who have allocated drivers and vehicles as well as assisting with the administration and fulfilment of orders.
John Phillips, Grainger Market Traders chair, commented: “This has been a real example of collaborative working at its best. My daughter came up with the idea and with the help of, among others, the actor Craig Wilde, got the online system up and running in a matter of days.
“The crisis has seen a shift in customer buying habits and attitudes, people want and need to shop locally, they are happy to get the food that is available and take ‘pot luck’ with fruit and veg orders. There has even been excitement from customers about the element of surprise that comes with receiving their order.
“Hopefully when we come through this crisis, the experience will restore the balance and we will see a return to traditional consumer values; shop local, shop seasonally and with little plastic.”
NE1 retail core manager Mark Sumner, who has been working with the new service, added: “These are unprecedented times, the Grainger Market has never offered such a comprehensive delivery service in its 185-year history but necessity is the mother of all invention and people need the supplies that the market can deliver.
“Traders are keen to do their bit to help deliver supplies to families who need doorstep deliveries and we have been delighted by the number of people who have volunteered to help.”
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