Notes from lockdown
As Easter weekend recedes and it's the end of the third week of lockdown, we hope you remain well and positive and have been able to enjoy some sunshine. We're feeling pretty fortunate to be holed up in a house with a garden. I can hear birdsong and bumble bees, and migratory swallows have just returned for the summer. Nature carries on and is probably benefiting from all this lack of human activity.
Despite my hankerings and enjoyment of city life (living where we do is rubbish if you want to enjoy all the social offerings), the banning of gatherings all across the country pulls the rug from under our social infrastructure. Yes we can do online pub quizzes, play games, chat and Zoom has become part of daily life (where did that come from?!). But it's not a patch on getting out and socialising with friends.
So a radical change at Hogan's Cider. We sell cider to mostly pubs and bars and a much smaller amount to bottle shops and farm shops. Our business has practically dried up, save for online sales and local retailers. Loyal drinkers have responded by ordering online (thank you) and we are using a mix of couriers and local deliveries (Allen) to get cider out there.
We have had to furlough all the team (Carole, Kathy, Peter, Shaun, Sophie, Steve and Steve) - Allen and I are trying our best to fill their shoes (!) ..... All the team are well but bored..
We just hope this won't go on for too long as we don't know what state the pub industry will be in. Cider drinking is coming up to peak season and it would be very sad to miss it. There will be a knock on effect on the cider apple growers as real cider makers won't need as much fruit in the Autumn due to lower summer sales.
Our days are pretty full with the business, running on skeleton staff. It leaves not much time for headspace and creativity. It's all very stressful, but pales in comparison to others working in health and social care or families who've lost loved ones.
We've had to delay some projects-
- making two blends available in can
- getting some support with marketing
- launching our delicious cider apple vinegar
We're looking forwards and making plans. We're working on ideas to offer something a bit unusual to you, to help keep us afloat and give you something to look forward to.
Meanwhile, here's a recipe which hopefully uses store cupboard ingredients together with cider apple vinegar. Courtesy of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, and please substitute as you see fit.
We will continue to offer free local deliveries to anyone within a 15 mile radius from B49 6LX so please do give us a call on 01789 488433 … or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Minimum order is 3 cases or equivalent excluding B49/B50/CV37 postcodes.
All the best