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Maidenhead businesses adapt to survive coronavirus outbreak

While many businesses in the area have been forced to close by the coronavirus outbreak, some companies have come up with innovative ways to continue trading.

Restaurants and pubs in particular have adapted to the changing demands, with many shutting their doors to the public and switching to delivery or takeaway-only services.

Strawberry Grove, in Bridge Street, and Caldesi in Campagna, in Bray, are among the businesses remaining open to serve the public. Both stores are offering to deliver food to customers. Strawberry Grove is also offering to deliver essential items like eggs, fruit and vegetables, while Caldesi is delivering Italian produce.

Damien French, manager of the Strawberry Grove Maidenhead branch, said: “If people can’t go out shopping, they can order with us.

“It’s impacting the business but we are not doing too badly. We have two different stores doing quite well.”

Tuesday was the first day that the shop tested the delivery model, and it had received about 25 orders by 3pm.

Other businesses are also moving to a delivery model to help keep afloat.

The Rebellion Beer Company, based in Bencombe Farm, Marlow, closed its shop on Tuesday but has continued to sell beer through deliveries.

On Wednesday, the Brewery thanked its patrons on social media as it was experiencing ‘huge numbers’ of calls from people still hoping to enjoy a quality beverage at home.

Issuing advice on Monday, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick said takeaways and deliveries could continue, but asked businesses and customers to exercise social distancing and ‘strongly advised’ ordering over the phone rather than in person.

Another business continuing to operate, albeit without any delivery or takeaway options, is Tony Sheldon Travel, based in Brock Lane.

According to owner Mark Pollard, the staff have been working from home since Monday, doing everything they can to help holidaymakers who are trapped abroad to get home.

Speaking to the Advertiser on Tuesday, Mark said: “Our last customers have come back today.

“We have been changing bookings to a later date, even to next year.

“It’s tough. Holiday enquiries have dried up in the last week or 10 days. The message we are trying to say is, you are at home, you’ve got time to think about your dream holiday for next year and we have time to talk about it.”

On whether he thought his business could survive, Mark added: “We have been in Maidenhead for 40 years. We renewed the lease last year, so we can’t go.”

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