Health Foods For You in Sudbury finds stable footing after coronavirus pandemic struck in midst of relocation to new premises
Having planned to expand her Sudbury health food shop for a long time, Jane Pearson described the last few weeks as “absolutely frantic”, as the coronavirus crisis hit in the midst of her relocation.
Despite the challenges, Health Foods For You was able to complete the move to a larger unit in North Street, next to its previous site, at the end of March.
But with the pandemic impacting businesses nationwide, Jane has had to adapt quickly to cope with the public lockdown, especially with the increase in overhead costs from the new premises.
The shop, which first opened in Friars Street before moving to North Street, has now launched a delivery service, offering health foods, supplements and natural toiletries to all homes within a five-mile radius.
It is also operating refills and collections directly from the store, which remains open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, with social distancing protocols in effect.
Jane told the Free Press it was disappointing not to be able to hold a big launch for the new site as she had hoped, but she and her staff have managed to adapt to the current situation.
“It has been an emotional rollercoaster,” she said. “You set your sights on growing the business and then something like this happens. But relocating in a lockdown has to be something to shout about.
“I had all this planned for two years and had a big surge of excitement telling customers about the new shop. Since the lockdown hit, it has all been such an unknown and has taken a bit of the excitement off for me.
“We have had to make it work. If the shop had shut because of the lockdown, it would have been drastic measures. I would’ve lost the momentum of what I’m doing.
“I’ve had to think outside the box. It’s better to be ticking over, supporting the community, letting people know I’m still here and keeping the staff motivated.
“We’ve had a little bit of a drop in trade since lockdown began, but customers have been getting on board. There have been ups and downs, but, at the moment, we’re ticking along.”
Jane said the business has a particular niche for people trying to maintain healthy eating habits during the lockdown, and reported a surge in sales of certain products, such as supplements for wellbeing and immune support.
She added that the store is continuing to maintain its zero-waste commitment, by avoiding the use of plastic wrapping.
Health Foods For You offers grains, nuts, pastas, seeds, rice, fruits and teas, personal care items like shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, as well as herbal remedies and CBD products.
To find out more, telephone the shop on 01787 828262, or go online to healthfoodsforyou.co.uk.
More by this authorThomas Malina