Steve and Caroline Ward, owners of St Giles Cheese, based in the Cultural Quarter of Northampton town centre, are our first Business Heroes of 2020.
Steve and Caroline’s business St Giles Cheese has remained open throughout lockdown – providing essential items and allowing shoppers to collect items from the door front, rather than have to walk into the shop.
The duo wanted to avoid closing. “We wanted to make sure our chain of suppliers was able to keep going,” explained Steve. “We also provide goods for lots of local people who can’t necessarily visit a supermarket and would find the large queues and busy shops overwhelming. Many of our customers rely on interaction – we didn’t want to close our doors to them.”
Steve and Caroline say they feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to help others. They chose to reduce their opening hours during lockdown to accommodate deliveries and were dropping off provisions to around 10 customers a day – for 90 days in a row.
There has been lots of warm feedback from customers and friends alike and they have appreciated support from the BID and local media – who have promoted their business during lockdown so that shoppers knew they were still open.
Steve added: “Times of crisis bring people together and the community spirit in Northampton has been exceptional.”
In 2011 St Giles Cheese was awarded the runner-up prize for best new cheese retailer in the UK at the British Cheese Awards.
The Cultural Quarter
It is no wonder that St Giles Street in the Cultural Quarter won the Great British High Street competition in 2015, up against Mill Road in Cambridge. St Giles Street is packed with unique independent shops, restaurants, cafes, real ale pubs and businesses and is the jewel in the crown of Northampton’s town centre.
Did you know? There are a number of great pubs in the Cultural Quarter, which has a history of brewing going back to the 13th century. In 2014 on the site of the County Council offices in St Johns Street, malt ovens and two deep wells were discovered indicating the brewing of beer in the area on a relatively large-scale dating back 800 years.
Do you have a ‘Business Hero’ in mind?
Our Business Heroes will be individuals or teams who, over the lockdown period, have:
- Made a real difference to colleagues, family and friends
- Been passionate about making the town centre the very best it possibly can be
- Been instrumental in making positive changes to the town centre
- Given back – to the community, customers and the town centre
Our Heroes must own or be employed by a Northampton town centre BID-levy paying business. Find out more and make a nomination HERE.