When Ruddington’s The Bottle Top celebrated its first year of trading on 10th May 2020 it was during unprecedented times – in the middle of a nationwide ‘lockdown’ caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
As an ‘essential’ business, permitted to remain open by the Government, owners Anthony and Alex Preston decided they would do so. Throughout the restrictions they continued to serve residents with essential supplies at a time when our village supermarkets were struggling to keep up with demand. As before, the shop kept Ruddingtonians stocked with products such as plastic-free fresh fruit and veg, local honey, jams, sauces, pantry staples such as precious pasta to weigh into your own containers, sought after handwash and other refills – plus, of course, vital stay-at-home beer, cider and spirit supplies.
As well as selling its usual range of other eco-friendly products, the little shop with the big heart satisfied a new demand for freshly baked bread, free range eggs – even toilet rolls – winning many more loyal customers! This was done as safely as possible by serving shoppers queuing outside from a counter at the door – or offering free delivery for orders of £10 or more to vulnerable villagers who were ‘shielding’. More recently the duo have been joined by Jen Walker of The Split Screen Coffee Company to serve her range of famous VW Camper Van hot beverages from The Bottle Top’s premises at 2, High Street instead.
‘Lockdown’ has also seen other initiatives such as special hampers for ‘VE Day 75’ and Father’s Day plus “Live Beer Tasting” with Anthony on Instagram Live. Newly installed taps behind the counter are awaiting their first use once their popular “Tap Takeover” weekends can return.
Now restrictions have eased, with non-essential village shops, cafes restaurants and pubs now being permitted to reopen, Alex and Anthony are allowing access to their premises again – but with some ‘social distancing’ measures in place. “We’re asking that a maximum of two households come in to the shop at any one time. During peak operating hours we may ask members of the same party to wait outside to reduce wait times and ensure safety” explains Alex. “You are asked to sanitise you’re hands and baskets before shopping – we have provided this at the front of the shop on entry.”
Shoppers displaying any COVID-19 symptoms are urged to stay away: “Contact us if you need assistance in obtaining food items and we will continue to support and offer delivery for the vulnerable where we can” says Alex.
Within the shop there’s now a one-way system past the counter and you’ll see new markings on the floor to indicate 2m apart. They are sticking with the 2m rule, despite the Government decision to shorten it to 1m on July 4th. “At this time we are not comfortable with reducing the distance – but we are very pleased to be able to get some normality back!”
For the moment, there are shorter opening hours of 9am until 6pm, Monday to Saturday whilst Alex and Anthony continue to balance homeschooling and shop life.
You can still enquire about stock availability and place an order in advance by emailing email@example.com. Alternatively text or phone 07946 190499 – or contact them via their Facebook Page.