“We miss everybody so much,” says Sheffield shop owner forced to lay off staff - but now they are moving online
A Sheffield city centre coffee and gift shop has been given a support grant to move online after the pandemic forced them “to say goodbye to several valued staff and volunteers.”
The 1554 Coffee and Gift Shop, which is located in Sheffield Cathedral, has always been ‘like a big family’ thanks to its wonderful customers, staff and volunteers.
As recently as 2020, the independent business won Sheffield City Centre’s coveted Retail Award for ‘Best Customer Service’.
However, the pandemic has been devastating for the business, forcing it to shut its doors almost a year ago – and it hasn’t opened since.
“It’s ironic and very sad at the same time,” said Ruth Maher, enterprise business manager at Sheffield Cathedral.
“Last year we won an award which recognised our commitment to excellent customer service and then we ended up being closed.
"We’ve had to say goodbye to several valued staff and volunteers.
“It’s definitely been a struggle, we’re like a big family.
"We rely on our customers and our customers rely on us. We miss everybody so much: a few have been in contact to say they’re crossing the days off on their calendar until they can visit us again.”
Now, a business support grant from Sheffield City Region means 1554 has been able to open a new web-shop as part of its fight for survival.
The funding was aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises recover from Covid-19, and to help build their business up again.
The online store sells everything from honey and Henderson’s Relish, to wooden crosses and umbrellas.
Ruth said: “It’s was all new to me. It’s definitely been a challenge, but the end product is well worth it.
"I hope everyone likes it and it brings new customers in to see us.”
The coffee and gift shop champions Yorkshire’s best suppliers, producers and creative industries and has teamed up with Heavenly Coffee to offer the ‘Heavenly at Home’ range of coffee, teas and biscuits, which can also be found on the online store until you can visit once more.
Visit www.1554.co.uk to support the coffee and gift shop.