Shop Local: Stalwart of March shopping scene bids to keep it in the family during Covid-19 pandemic
They may have less tables and protective shields in place, but a stalwart of March’s shopping scene is determined to keep customers happy through the coronavirus pandemic.
Stotts Fish Restaurant, owned by Jonathan Stott, has been trading on High Street for 31 years, and it’s not looking to finish any time soon.
From the traditional fish and chips to succulent pies, Stotts were unable to do what they know best for 11 weeks due to lockdown, but staff hope they can continue to serve good-quality food to many more residents.
“We were shut for 11 weeks when it first happened,” Justine Westbrook, who has been working at Stotts for 11 years, said.
“We know the customers and we’re friendly. We have got our regulars that come in every week, but it has taken a while to get them back since lockdown.
“Trade picked up when the market started up again and we have got to help everyone out.”
As soon as we arrived before the lunchtime rush, both Justine and colleague Kelly Anderson, known as Kim, were on hand to provide us with a complimentary hot drink as part of a warm welcome, something the business prides itself on.
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Now, social distancing measures are in force and twice as many tables have been lost, with around 10 customers allowed in at any one time as staff have come to terms with working in a different way.
“We try to work in bubbles,” Justine said.
“We look after our customers and they are still coming for takeaways. Some are still not feeling safe and we worry about them if we haven’t seen them for a couple of weeks.”
Inside Stotts is a picture frame with the former Cambs Times logo, highlighting some of the restaurant’s finest memories.
Having taken part in the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, customers have started to return, and for Justine, she hopes Stotts’ reputation can help sustain its own future.
“We’ve been here 31 years so we want to keep the customers to keep trading,” she said.
“There are not many businesses that are family-orientated, so we want to keep as many of these as we can.”