Continuing our blogs about the impact of Covid-19 in Kent and Medway, local business owner David Brown explains how he has changed his business model to meet lockdown regulations.

When lockdown started I had an industrial kitchen in Whitstable cooking products for other businesses in Whitstable. Previously I had owned a deli in Whitstable serving coffee, breakfasts and meals to many different people in the town. When lockdown began, I started making meals to take out for people who asked, and from that began a take away service and outdoor coffee area that worked within the boundaries of lock down rules. There is no indoor seating area, there are very few seats outside and everyone queues with a two metre space.

We have also decided to broaden the space where the unit is to include an outdoor market selling fruit and veg, bakery and ice cream, to provide a space that fits with lockdown rules and with local producers and businesses. Currently this is open on a Saturday, with a limited takeout service during the week.

The area where the unit is was an old coal yard in Whitstable, which has been used as a caravan sales yard for the past few years. Although many businesses have been closed throughout lockdown, there have also been new opportunities for lots of businesses. The whole model of the business has changed to fit with lockdown and to provide for the people I have served for years. We intend to keep this model going and hope to see it expand into a larger food and produce market.

We feel it is important to provide meals for people who find it difficult to cook, and provide somewhere for people to go to buy a coffee – to feel normal during the period of lockdown.

David Brown is a local business owner in Whitstable, Kent.