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Support your local business, as they are supporting you

How is everyone out there? Many of our customers with whom I`m able to engage, by email, telephone, and during our Wednesday pick-up and Thursday delivery service, tell me they are quite enjoying being at home, tending their gardens, soaking up the sun rays. People seem to have adopted their own routines, with walks in the countryside a popular highlight of the day. Opening a nice bottle of wine at supper time is another highlight, of course. And that`s not just in my house! I`m pleased to report that wine has been the nation`s salvation through the coronavirus, or so it would seem, with sales going through the roof. Independent wine merchants are doing especially well, even operating behind closed doors, as many of us are doing. Locally, I see the traditional butchers are doing well too. We have Evans & Sons in Dedham open for business, allowing one person in the shop at a time, and operating a delivery service to the villages; I.H. Kerridge Butchers in Nayland and John Coleman Butchers in Boxted are obviously thriving as well,  managing social distancing very well by all accounts. Great Horkesley Post Office and General Stores is doing a roaring trade operating their queuing system, a gargantuan effort there by Anne, Ruth, John and Shailesh. Indeed, though much is said and written (appropriately) about our wonderful NHS, the other keyworkers, shop staff, our posties, the pharmacies, and many, many others, roundly deserve our applause. The list naturally extends to supermarket workers (indeed, they have had to manage the brunt of shopping fever early on) but I do hope, once the virus has passed on, that people will remember the stoicism of the independents,  and that they will continue to shop with them long into the future. One individual who I feel deserves special mention: our postie Tony English. He kindly picks up wine orders from us for neighbours and friends who are self-isolating in his village. And always with a smile on his face. Thanks Tony, you`re a superstar! telephone 271 236 e-mail

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