Moo-ved by Support
Connage Highland Farm, located near Inverness, has been moved by the support of their customers since the lockdown began last month.
Owned by Jill and Callum Clark, Connage Highland Dairy produces cheese from the milk of their herd of dairy cows, which graze the luscious clover pastures along the Moray Firth. Established in 2006, their shop, both at the Cheese Pantry and online, stocks their own cheeses as well as other cheeses from across Scotland and further afield.
“We’ve been so touched by the support we have received from customers, both locally and across the country. There have been some big changes here – we are doing a lot of the local deliveries ourselves and unfortunately, we’ve had no choice but to furlough most of the staff, so we’re operating with a skeleton crew at the moment!”
one day we will come out the other side of this
“It’s so hard for everyone at the moment, and we know that all small businesses are in the same boat, so it means a lot to us that people are making the effort to support us. We know we have to be patient and optimistic about the situation and know that one day we will come out the other side of this, but there have been some positives to come out of it as well.”
“We have been able to chat with a lot of our customers on the phone, so it’s great to speak to them and check in on how they’re doing. We have a weekly catch up with the staff too – I miss them a lot!”
The team at Connage has been working hard to ensure the business adapts to the current climate.
“We have made the move to put a lot more products online, something we have been meaning to do for a while, so we have more cheeses available in our online shop and these are refreshed and updated every day.”
“As social distancing became the norm, we decided to launch our call and collect scheme, which we’ve called ‘One toot and your order’s oot!’ Customers can call the shop and place an order, and we will arrange a collection time with them when they can pull into the car park, toot their horn, and their order will be brought out to their car.”
“The biggest change is something we were hoping to be able to unveil earlier in the year, but the Scottish weather had other ideas! We are going to be installing a couple of vending machines at Connage, so people can come and buy produce whenever they need it. The plan is to have a vending machine for milk, and one for cheese and seasonal produce.”
Like many other small businesses, Jill and the team at Connage Highland Dairy are hoping the support from the local community continues after the lockdown has ended.
“I think this has taught us a lot about patience, and the patience that you need to shop local. It’s also reiterated the importance of connection and how small businesses can be a lifeline to those who are maybe a bit lonely, or who can’t get out often.”
You can visit Connage Highland Dairy online at http://www.connage.co.uk
or visit their Facebook page here.
Images copyright Connage Highland Dairy.