Updated 23 March 2020
Henley businesses and organisations are looking at new ways to keep their businesses afloat and support the community through the coronavirus pandemic. In times like these, the key is to #supportlocal and #shoplocal.
Many of the pubs, restaurants, coffee shops are offering take away drinks and meals including the Chocolate Cafe, Pachangas, Bistro at the Boathouse, The Argyll, The Anchor, Hof’s Bar and Restaurant, The Square, Al Forno, Shellfish Cow and Menza Cafe at the Rugby Club. Drifters coffee shop on Duke Street are offering a delivery of a breakfast hamper for four for £27.
Bosley Patch at Swiss Farm which offers bread, fruit, vegetables and flowers is working with other local suppliers to offer food and drink including The Willow Basket, Chiltern Lamb, Honeys of Henley, Tolhurst organic veg and soon Lovibonds beer. Orders need to be placed by Tuesday latest for collection on Friday 10-1pm. Owner, Tamsin Borlase said, “The plan is to have a website up and running next week where you can order and pay online. Collection will be from Swiss Farm or delivery where needed by volunteers. I’m planting as many vegetables to keep the supply chain going and working with others to provide something for the community.”
Time for Tea are offering hampers for Mother’s Day which includes bread from Lawlor’s bakery, milk and eggs from Laceys Farm, their own elderflower lemon drizzle cake and cupcakes along with bunch of flowers, Yorkshire tea and a toilet roll! All for £25. Deadline for orders is Friday at 12 noon. Plans for other food deliveries to be announced shortly.
Lawlor’s Bakery offer a range of bread, rolls and cakes, pick up from the bakery in Enterprise Park. Orders only by calling 01491 572018.
Gabriel Machin, the butchers posted on Instagram “It’s business as usual for us. Currently we are inundated with customers stocking up and buying way more than usual. Our message to you all is please do not panic. The shop is stocked and will continue to be. These are tough times for all of us and small independents like us desperately need local support, but please be sensible and please think of others. Also could you be buying for your neighbour who can’t get out, pop round and ask! We will get through this together.”
Henley Music School are offering online music lessons in any instrument, as well as aural lessons & theory. Principal Laura Reineke said, “It is vital to remain positive and busy, both for adults and children. You will also be keeping self-employed teachers and musicians in work. Use them or lose them!
Henley Literary Festival have set up a buddy system for anyone who feels that they need help or support. They will try and connect them with someone who lives close by who can help with delivering groceries or collecting medication. If you are happy to help someone in your area over the next few weeks, or if you are in need of some support, then please email email@example.com.
Laurence Morris from Laurence Menswear (CLOSED NOW) on Duke Street said, “From my point of view I have a few contingency plans but these can change daily. Right now there is hardly anyone around shopping for “luxuries”. We all have to adjust our business plans almost on a daily basis. I’m already asking my suppliers for extended credit. The key thing right now is ‘cash’ and to this end I will (reluctantly) be discounting new seasons stock by 25%, just to try and generate some business. I am also cutting back on all unnecessary expenditure. My biggest concern is whether the Regatta and Festival goes ahead. There are already several rumours flying around about this. Personally I think we will see these events cancelled which would be catastrophic for many businesses in the town. It’s like a train crash waiting to happen. You know it’s going to hit you but you don’t know when or how hard. All we can do is plan for the worst and hope for the best. Meanwhile I remain open and defiant until such time that I can’t!”
Henley Milliner, Liz Felix (CLOSED NOW) said, “Devastated that apparently the peak is predicted to be 10-14 weeks so Ascot is 15 weeks and regatta immediately after so cannot see how either will be going ahead. I ordered my stock back in August last year and it was delivered in February. Weddings have been postponed and therefore I have no customers. The only good news is that my landlord is holding off charging me rent for 3 months.” Liz not only sells hats but has a great selection of umbrellas, jewellery, bags and ladies clothes. She is currently open, Thursday, Friday and Saturdays 10-5pm.
Biggie Best (NOW CLOSED) and Estilo (CLOSED NOW) in Duke Street have sales on – Estilio has 25% off everything until end of Saturday and Biggie Best has 20% everything until further notice.
If you are self isolating and would like to place an order of £10 or more at Gorvett & Stone, (normally £30 or more) they will arrange free delivery for you up to 10 miles from Henley. Call the shop on 01491 414485 and deliveries will be made within 48 hours and left in safe space.
Bell Bookshop are offering to post books to anywhere in the country if you can’t visit the shop. Call them on 572583. They will stay open as long as they feel they are an important part of the community.
Bagatelle are offering orders over the phone and collection from outside the shop. Open Tuesdays and Fridays (10-12noon) Tel. 01491 638055.
David from David Rodger Sharp jewellers (CLOSED NOW)on Duke Street said, “We have noticed a large decrease in footfall. This week we have stopped selling watch straps and batteries as these are higher risk to spreading germs. The Duke Street shops have been sharing ideas and keeping morale up because as independents this is our livelihood. We don’t know what the future holds – these are unusual times. We are being offered to buy luxury watches and gold and we’re giving people the best prices but also the option to buy back in better times. We are offering home visits and video consultations to help find the perfect gift for that birthday or anniversary or wedding rings. We want to continue to help our customers by spreading love.”
Studio 35 jewellers, also in Duke Street are offering Facetime consultations to choose jewellery and delivery within 10 miles.
Henley Self Storage are helping people free up space at home. With home working coming into it’s own over the past few weeks, they are offering a no minimum stay at 50% off for up to 12 weeks on our 30 & 35 square feet units. Prices start at £13 including VAT per week. Check out Henleyselfstorage.co.uk, or email direct on firstname.lastname@example.org. Offer ends 30 March 2020
Supermarkets in Henley are still under the strain of keeping up with demand. A spokesperson for Waitrose in Henley said, “We are still seeing strong demand for some items including cleaning products, hand wash, antibacterial products, toilet tissues, pasta, and some canned goods. We are continuing to work closely with our suppliers to ensure that we have stock available and asking customers to buy only what they need of those products which are in high demand so we have enough for everyone.”