Fife butcher Bryan Beveridge took over his Dunfermline shop on March 1 2020.
Three weeks later, the country was in lockdown and the 56-year-old needed a new plan.
That’s when he came up with the idea of a delivery service, not just for Dunfermline, but many of the west Fife villages too.
He bought a new van and started taking orders to people who were self-isolating.
But before long, they were asking him to pick up other bits of shopping for them en route.
“Some asked if I could get them a half loaf so I did that on my way,” he said.
“Then they asked for veg to go with their meat so we introduced that in the shop.
“It became a one-stop shop, getting their meat, getting fruit and veg and sometimes stopping for a half loaf.
“And before I knew it, I was doing 100 plus deliveries a week.”
‘It was absolutely manic’
Bryan, from Glenrothes, was well known to customers as he worked in the shop for 25 years before the previous owner retired.
Most of the people looking for help were older and many were shielding.
“They didn’t want to leave their houses, far less go to supermarkets,” Bryan said.
“Deliveries aren’t common practice for butchers – I’ve never done it in all the shops I’ve worked in over 42 years.”
And it wasn’t just deliveries that were busy – the High Street shop was suddenly more popular than ever.
“Most businesses shut overnight but we were open right through,” he said.
“It was absolutely manic. We did Christmas turnover every week for about three months.
“We had to take on another two members of staff.”
Bryan says his nine staff members went above and beyond the call of duty throughout lockdown.
“It was kind of weird in Dunfermline because we were the only shop that was open,” he said.
“We could only have six customers in the shop at a time so we’d think it was quiet.
“But when we looked outside, the queue was 200 yards long.
“We’d work until closing then do another two hours making up the delivery bags for the next day.”
‘We never ran out of produce’
But customers appreciated the hard work.
“We never ran out of produce.” he said. “All our cattle and pork is from the central belt so availability has never been an issue.
“That can’t be said for supermarkets.”
Bryan added: “We’ve managed to retain our customer base and increase turnover by 20 to 25%.
“The ones that came to us over the last two years have stayed with us.
“We were a lot busier but it was still a calm environment.
“And the delivery service is still in place to this day.”
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