‘We’re coming together’ - Community pub starts deliveries in bid to stay afloat
PUBLISHED: 16:49 21 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:49 21 March 2020
A popular pub and important community hub in Ipswich is delivering food for the first time in a bid to stay afloat and support local residents during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Woolpack pub in Ipswich is a well-known, popular venue for those looking for a tasty Sunday roast or a pint of beer, however this weekend - due to measures brought in by Prime Minister Boris Johnson - the pub will be closed.
All restaurants, bars and cafes across the UK have been told they must shut their doors to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 which has killed 177 in the UK so far.
However, the Woolpack has taken steps to change their business plan to help them stay afloat - and maintain their vital role in the local community.
Landlady Marita Hunter-Rodwell said: “The pub is really a community hub, people are always coming in an out and I think everybody wants to do their best to support us.
“I think a lot of people are ordering to say we’re here for you. I’ve had been phone up and say we don’t want to come in but we want to help, what we can do.
“I also think because we are changing our menu weekly, and there are people in isolation, it will give them something to look forward to. I’m happy to pick up prescriptions of bits and bobs so hopefully that will help our locals.
“I feel so emotional. It is such a wonderful feeling it really feels like we are all coming together as a community. Its really lovely.”
MORE: Visit the Woolpack’s take-away menu here
The Woolpack, like may pubs and restaurants in the area would have faced a bleak future with the forced national closure.
Miss Hunter-Rodwell said she remained optimistic that the pub will survive the coronavirus pandemic but added that uncertainty over the length of closure was a concern.
She said: “Business has massively slowed down.
“I feel like at the moment we are surviving, which is fantastic.
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“It’s the first time we have done deliveries.
“We have no idea how long this is going to last but I think just seeing that we can do it now, it is something that we will continue after this is all over because, we’re still going to be here.
“We can still do deliveries even when we close down. The chef and I can work from the kitchen so that’s fantastic.
“We would not have survived if we didn’t make this change. We are optimistic. We will definitely be here at the end of it if that means using a bit of saving that is fine but a key thing is that at the moment we are still keeping people in work.
“Because of this delivery service I haven’t had to lay off any staff and I’m really proud of that.”