A Liverpool shop that helped out those in need during lockdown has put out a heartfelt plea asking for people not to forget about them ‘now things are starting to get back to normal’.
Adam’s Apple on Allerton Road has thanked those who supported and encouraged them over the last few months, but said ‘now it’s our time to ask for your help’.
In an emotional post on Instagram, the popular greengrocers said: “This past week has become very quiet for a lot of us on Allerton Road, but we would love it if locals can continue to shop local and support all the independents now that you don’t depend on us - but hopefully still want us around! We all need you more than ever.”
Speaking to the ECHO this week about the past few months, Kat Monaghan, who works at Adam's Apple, said: “Life has been hugely disrupted for almost all of us. However rather than hoping for things to ‘get back to normal’, perhaps this pandemic has offered us an opportunity, a fresh start.
“Do we really want to go back to how things were before - a stressful, greedy, destructive society obsessed with consumerism? Perhaps lockdown has shown us how to slow down and care about things again, the things that really matter.
“I hope that the strong, considerate and responsible communities that we’ve seen develop across the country will continue to thrive post lockdown. Maybe you will make small changes to your lifestyle that are more ethical and sustainable, and I hope shopping at independents will be one of them! It may not always be the cheapest option, like Aldi or Amazon, but it is the responsible one. The one that will hopefully make you happier!”
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During lockdown, business at Adam’s Apple thrived as people turned to online deliveries, in order to stay home and avoid going to the supermarkets.
Kat said: “Before lockdown we did around five fruit and veg deliveries a week, after this it became up to 25 orders a day!”
However, it wasn’t always an easy adjustment for the team.
“Managing the surge in orders and trying to help reach as many people as possible who needed our delivery service was stressful at times. We were overwhelmed as the shop wasn’t prepared for such high demand, we also had reduced staff due to some being vulnerable - including the boss!” Kat explained.
“We all tried to help out where we could with delivering fruit and veg to customers across Liverpool; whether by van, car, bike or foot. At the beginning stock was somewhat hard to get a hold of, so the boss’ sons would have to get up at 3am to beat the competition at market and make sure we could get the produce we needed,” she added.
Being a small shop, the team also found it difficult adjusting to the new regulations. Kat said: “Keeping a safe environment was highly important, therefore we could only allow two customers in the shop at once - which is hard when you don’t even have a physical door to restrict people from walking in. We also needed a lot of staff in the shop to prepare orders for delivery, so it was a challenge balancing these different pressures.”
Kat said with more people off work and staying local, many discovered the shop who hadn't known it existed. She added: “We had many new customers telling us that they’re pleased to have found us and they’ll stick around once this is all over. People also said that this reinvigoration of customers is one of the few good outcomes to be taken from a bad situation of a global pandemic!
“However, unfortunately we’ve definitely seen a drop in the last week or so, it has become pretty quiet on Allerton Road in general. We hope that people will not forget us and can be convinced that shopping locally at independents is a good thing for everyone.”
Adam’s Apple sits on a stretch of Allerton Road that is a step back in time , with B.Shrigley and Son fish mongers, Brian Clarke and Family butchers and Ray’s bakery all within a few footsteps of each other.
Kat said: “We get a lot of customers who are nostalgic about our shop as it echoes a similar memory of a shop from their childhood. It will be such a shame if these types of family, traditional businesses that together represent the essence of the local culture we love, become swallowed by global giants such as Iceland, Tesco and other large chains.
“The death of the high street will leave areas feeling barren and depressing. Without the support of locals, staying open becomes too difficult and no longer rewarding (both financially but also emotionally).”
Kat added: “When I asked the boss Doug about his business, he says that the shop is the only thing he knows how to do now: “it’s my life”. This year is the 50th anniversary of his business, the shop itself has been around for 35 years and many of our current customers have been here from day one. We’re very grateful for the loyalty and support of all these dedicated customers - of which there are many!”
For people like Kat, the customer relationship goes beyond money changing hands. She said: “People have made us marmalade and cake, lent us books, given us their recipes and so on. Likewise, we return the favour. It’s so nice to feel part of a community where you know each other and take the time to interact and encourage each other. This is something I really feel is being lost these days but is so precious.
“I’ve been so humbled by the amount of kindness and friendship I’ve found working at the shop. This is why people come to local independent businesses, they offer an experience beyond just shopping, they offer a lifestyle and a community.”