Coronavirus pandemic: it’s time to support our independent food suppliers, pubs and restaurants

The Bishop's Cave cheese counter.

The Bishop's Cave cheese counter. - Credit: Archant

My very first job was in a supermarket, filling shelves and working on the till. That was back in the time when we had sticker price guns and had to price everything by hand!

My favourite job was on the cheese counter, although I was terrible at guesstimating how much the customers wanted. Over the years I also worked in a cocktail bar and as a barbecue chef, and it was hard work, long hours, and also a lot of fun. I know many of the people working in hospitality at the moment will be very worried and sad not to be going about their daily lives. I am sure we will all be back showing them our support as soon as we can, and there is plenty we can do now.

One positive to come out of this situation, is that I hope we all have renewed respect for everyone working so hard in supermarkets, as well as the food producers, factory workers and delivery drivers working round the clock to get all the food out onto the shelves.

Supermarket bosses are saying there is plenty of food in the supply chain – with so many people now working at home and not eating out or at school, so much of the food we buy is now in the supermarkets.

All the supermarkets have been on huge recruitment drives, so there will be more people to get stock on the shelves.

If we all buy sensibly, and just what we need, there will be enough for everyone. And please be polite to the people working so hard!

One moment of good news for the restaurants and cafés: At the moment, restaurants, pubs and cafes are allowed to operate as takeaway/delivery services, and I urge you to give them a go. As well as supporting local business, if you order a delivery you will get a break from cooking, and save a trip to the supermarket. Your usual fish and chip shops, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian takeaways are open for delivery too – as well as many more! Just observe the two metre distance when taking in a delivery.

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Here are just a few of the ‘new takeaways’ that I know about, and there will be many more, so do ask your favourite local what they are planning.

Bar Meze. Call on 01727 847799 to order. View the menu at

Beer Shop St Albans are rolling out a local delivery service. Order via their online shop

The Beech House are doing kid’s pizza making kits, including dough, toppings and instructions for £5. Ring 01727 701230 for more info or go to instagram for more updates.

The Bishops Cave is offering a takeaway service on their cheese, beers and wines. Call 07458 930983 for more

Cellar Door Wines. Call 01727 854488 to order wine for delivery.

Chrissy’s Cupcakes, a popular stall from the market, has a new delivery plan in place. Please order on the Wednesday for Friday deliveries (they will do more as demand requires). Email – mininum order is just four cakes, with a £1 delivery charge.

Eat Wholefoods near Morrisons on Hatfield Road have pulses, grains and even fresh tofu.

Flagship Wines. Shop is closed but you can order a delivery by ringing 01727 865309 or online

Grove Fruits are now doing delivery boxes. They are very busy at the moment but email them on and bear with them while they organise everything.

Great Northern Pub & Kitchen are offering a delivery service within walking distance of the pub from 5pm-8.30pm Tuesday to Saturday. Call 01727 730867 for more info.

Hatch in the Maltings (not on The Hill) has slightly reduced hours to usual yet is still open! 9am-4pm each day and 10am-4pm on Sundays. They have breakfast sandwiches, soups and coffee as well as other items.

Infuse Modern Indian Bistro. Order on 01727 899446 for collection. For delivery order via Deliveroo and Ubereats.

Lussmanns is doing a delivery service in St Albans and Harpenden. Go to their website for times and how to order.

Mad Squirrel Tap St.Albans have a fridge full of your favourite Mad Squirrel beers! Call 01727 236867 to order.

Platform Wines. The shop is closed at the moment but they are offering a contact-free delivery service. Same day orders if placed before 4pm – go to

The Refill Pantry are open for order and collect. They are asking customers to ring with orders and check stock levels on social media. All food will be sold in paper bags and in their own containers, for now. Prices are on their website

Rock Pop Candy are doing a “through the letterbox” chocolate bar treat box, which is great for a birthday present, or for you! For £5 you can choose from Birthday cake flavour, English mint, honeycomb and honey and more. Message them on instagram for more info.

Smallford Farm Shop have reduced their opening hours but the shop is well stocked. It is closed Monday-Tuesday and open other days 10am-4pm. They have fresh vegetables, pasta sauces etc, and ask that you just send one adult, rather than take children if possible, to help with the social distancing rules.

The Smokehouse Deli are offering a food delivery service within St Albans. £10 minimum order, with a £1.50 delivery charge. Pay by bank transfer. Call on 01727 251040. Menu is on their Facebook page and includes hearty gourmet sandwiches, cooked breakfasts and breakfast rolls.

Tabure and Tahini are doing takeaway from their St Albans and Harpenden restaurants. Call 01727 569068 to order and view the menu on

The Fleetville Larder are offering a deli delivery service in St Albans. Call 01727 863237 to place your order.

The Lower Red Lion, St. Albans are now offering a take away menu 12-9pm Monday to Saturday which includes the new Pie Stop Menu. Call 01727 855669 to place your order or email for info.

Parker & Vine. The shop is open between 8am-12noon, with rules on social distancing.

They are doing delivery in the afternoons. Call 01582 712886 or email and check the latest on instagram. They have salads, cakes and baked dishes, as well as their usual deli stock.

Per Tutti St Albans. Call 01727 839991 to place your order or go to

Sauté Grill. Call 01727 811889 to place your order. View the menu at

The Silver Palate has meals, salads, pasta and more and will be doing collection and delivery. 01582 713722.

Street Café. Call 01727 568187 to place your order in advance. The menu is on their Facebook Page

Thai Rack are offering free delivery for orders over £20 within a 3 mile radius. Call to order on 01727 850055. View the menu at

Tomoka Spirits Boutique are doing home deliveries of spirits and champagne in St Albans - minimum order just one bottle. Email or call 01727 894869.

The Ridgeway Fish Bar and Kebabs are now offering delivery via Just Eat.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks is selling fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, dairy, fish and meat. Ring 01727 869152 to place an order.