Hills Café – reinvented
A few weeks ago Hills Café was faced with a difficult choice – to close its doors, with a danger of never reopening – or to rapidly reinvent themselves in response to the pandemic.
Here’s what happened.
Hills Cafe is usually a place where we love to welcome people, offer warm hospitality and great home made food. During this difficult time we can’t do that so we have had to come up with a new way of being here for our community.
Until this is all over we have one aim. That everyone in our community gets the food they need.
The PANIC stage
On the 20th March 2020 we had the same concerns as every small business; where will the money come from to pay our staff now we are being told to close? Can we afford to re-open afterwards? Who is looking after our community in the meantime? We had to meet with staff to lay out the options - none of them were good. We know how much Micklefield has come to rely on us and with our doors shut we weren’t doing our community or customers justice. We needed a plan, and quickly.
The PLAN stage
When small business grants were announced the embers of an idea started to glow; let’s build a website, facilitate online orders for delivery of frozen homemade meals and phone calls to anyone feeling lonely. Needless to say we felt like we were taking on a huge amount as unpaid Directors with a tiny staff team; everyone in the community who we spoke to was enthusiastic, which was a real encouragement. We quickly realised that planning and action needed to happen hand in hand, swift decisions and decisive actions were essential.
The PRODUCE and PROVIDE stage
Marsh and Micklefield Big Local provided a grant for us to start this fantastic project immediately. On the 30th March 2020, just 10 days after closing, we opened our fully operational website, having filled a chest freezer with homemade food, and a brand new volunteer team inducted for deliveries. Our staff have taken it in their stride and are now producing up to 100 meals a week.
The tiny embers have been fanned into flame and now all that’s missing is you. You are being urged to stay at home; we are venturing out so you don’t have to. This is the perfect solution for getting meals, milk, bread, bakery treats, eggs, milk, and even prescription collections, delivered to your door for however much you can afford. We are here, we are determined, we are committed.
Order online at www.hillscafe.co.uk or call 07495 454066.