A COMMUNITY butchers faced a nervous wait to see if customers would return after it reopened this week.

The response and kindness shown was “heartwarming”, said Jessica Scott, who runs The Butcher’s Block in Gerard Avenue, Burnholme, with her partner Matthew Cross, and a small team.

“We were a big wholesale butchers as well as having the shop,” she said. “Obviously, once the restrictions came in and the pubs shut, we had to try and change, to emphasise the shop side.”

Jessica said they made the difficult decision to close briefly, but started operating again this week by offering doorstep deliveries and order collections from the shop.

“It was a hard decision to close; we had tears and heartbreak. When we re-opened there was a nervous wait because you don’t know whether people will come back.

“We have had such a great response. It is really heart-warming. Everyone is so kind; we’ve even had messages on the phone saying ‘it’s nice to have you back’. We are part of a local community. We have a strong customer base with lots of regulars and lots of people have become friends which is lovely.”

The Butcher’s Block, which has been open for almost 13 years, offers locally-sourced meat and poultry, hand-made burgers and sausages, and has packs for barbecues, and a ‘meat for the week’ pack to make five meals.

They are currently offering deliveries and collections from Tuesday to Saturday.

Jessica said the local support was vital for small, independent businesses.

“It is the lifeline which keeps you going. I am hoping that trend continues when we get out the other side; even if you just spend a few pounds, we are grateful for it.”

Butcher’s Block is promoting its new service through The Press Supporting Local Businesses campaign which is offering free adverts to family and independent businesses which comply with Government guidelines. To arrange a free advert, email Nicola.haigh@localiq.co.uk