Like many businesses across the country, from Thursday 5th November to Wednesday 2nd December we had to close our doors, but our lights stayed on. Although we reduced our hours, closed on Sundays and limited our staffing, we kept ourselves very busy behind closed doors.
The first few days saw us closing things down; those of you who have visited our coffee shop know we have strict hygiene standards, so ensuring everything was properly cleaned down and tidied away was essential. It wasn’t simply a case of switching everything off and walking away (although our staff were delighted to munch on some best-before-December biscuits!). We did however take the opportunity to give our staff some socially-distanced professional barista training; even our tea-drinking shop floor staff can make a good cup of coffee now!
With the coffee shop put to bed, the bulk of our focus was on the shop itself and the website. If you drove past on the first full week of the lockdown you would have seen our visual stylist in our windows, changing the display from our theme of redecorating the home instead of going on holiday to our delightful Christmas windows you can see today. “Christmas is the season of light… make your home bright!” is something we all felt we could take on-board after what has been an exceptionally difficult year. We hope our vibrant displays bring some Christmas cheer to anyone passing by as we enter into an uncertain winter ahead.
Away from the windows, we’ve been working on improving our website. We spent a day with local business The Design Hive, whom we work closely with for much of our branding and advertising, taking stylised product photography with a view to improving both the images on our website and how you are able to interact with them. We’ve also been behind our screens typing away to get lots of new products uploaded; we’ve got a whole section of Christmas accessories to help you gift and decorate this festive season, plus you can check out our last chance page to see just how much has and will change on our shop floor! Speaking of which, as we welcome you back in with our doors wide open once more you may notice we’ve had a little move around… Okay, a big move around. The team have been working together to redesign the shop floor space to give it a fresh new look (with some new furniture!), which we hope will give you the great shopping experience we pride ourselves on delivering.
We want to take a moment to thank everyone who has continually supported us over the past month and beyond. Our website and phone lines remained busy with orders, some of which were available for click and collect, others of which were delivered to us from the manufacturers who continued to operate as normal, allowing us to fulfil new and existing customer orders. It’s safe to say we’ve missed welcoming you all into our independent store; although the lockdown has been non-stop for us, we’re delighted to be interacting with our local community again.
Thank you for sticking with us and we hope to see you soon.
The Sopha Team
This article was written by Emma with her view of how Sopha operated through the second lockdown.