Cake Friday deliveries proved a massive success for independent cafe during lockdown

Despite losing summer trade due to the Covid-19 lockdown, one independent family-run cafe in Ely found ways of adapting to the new normal.

The team that runs The Lemon Tree Deli Cafe quickly decided to step up their deliveries and ended up developing ‘Cake Friday’.

Debbie Kidd, co-owner, said: “We were working throughout and, when the idea came about, we spent two to three days baking and the whole week taking orders for a Friday delivery of homemade cakes.

“We delivered free across Ely and Littleport and built that up to about 100 drops on the Friday, so the whole day was manic.”

Then, with the idea of offering a take-away only service, they reopened their doors in the second week of May.

Now, the cafe also has outside undercover seating, and is compliant with track and trace regulations and has the NHS QR code available for people to scan at the til.

Over the past few weeks, she said “footfall is getting back to normal”.

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Debbie thinks the success is also down to the fact that people just wanted to be outside.

“Because they wanted to come out and meet people when they first could do it, it got quite busy there.”

“It’s all going well at the moment,” Debbie added, however pointing out that “winter is probably going to be a trying time - depending on if the weather is nice to us in terms of being able to carry on the outside seating.

“We do have limited inside seating but less than we had before, and that is purely because of social distancing.