Norden Farm, near Corfe Castle has developed from a family run working farm into a business offering holiday accommodation, camp site and farm shop. We asked them how they have managed to adapt to the 'new normal'...
Worst winter in decades!
Like so many other businesses in the area, we very much rely on the seasonal tourism trade and so the pandemic couldn’t have come at a worse time. Just as the weather began brightening up after one of the worst winters for decades, we were looking forward to welcoming back our campers for what was set to be a great season, but we were left with no choice in having to sadly turn our loyal guests away.
Our brilliant Norden team
Luckily, the Government guidelines didn’t state that we had to close our farm shop. After the lockdown we realised we had to adapt that side of the business quickly, and thankfully, we had the staff and resources to be able to offer home deliveries right away. We’ve always offered deliveries but they were very few and far between, and we’d never experienced anything on this scale before.
We were fortunate to be in a position where campsite staff were able to adapt their role and begin working solely on the home delivery service. The whole Norden team have been absolutely brilliant, and we could not be prouder considering many have had to work longer and more flexible hours to conquer this new challenge we’ve faced. There has always been a great sense of family and teamwork in our workforce, and the pandemic has certainly highlighted this.
Delivering to Wareham and Purbeck
Since the lockdown began, we have seen a huge rise in local custom which has been fantastic. With households struggling to get their usual deliveries from large supermarkets, many have had to shop locally which of course, helps businesses like ours and the local produce we stock, but we feel has helped re-awaken a sense of community in our shoppers, with many commenting on how they have loved supporting local businesses and will continue to do so when this is all over, which has been heart-warming to see. Equally, our local suppliers have been excellent and really supportive, having definitely taken the crisis in their stride!
Thanks to the local community
We have certainly felt the support of the community too, with many Facebook groups, local news outlets, neighbours and friends reaching out to each other and making them aware of all the great services several brilliant businesses in the Isle of Purbeck are offering in response to the crisis, and we could not have done it without this. We are extremely grateful for the support we have received feel completely overwhelmed with the positive feedback.
Having done over 600 local deliveries so far, it has certainly been challenging but we feel honoured to be able to help those more vulnerable in the community, and we will keep doing our best for as long as it takes!