Coronavirus has closed down the world and had a devastating impact on so many people. Many businesses have had to adapt and some of us have changed our shopping habits, either through necessity or through a feeling of community and a desire to support others.
Tonbridge resident Charlotte Spencer is helping local businesses and consumers nationwide connect through her new business, Your Local Delivered. I interviewed Charlotte to learn more.
Tell me a little bit about your professional background. What are your connections with the food and drink industry?
By day, you can find me working as a social media strategist at London based consultancy, Bridge & Tunnel. And in the hours not spent concentrating on spreading-the-YLD-word, I’m walking my dog Percy, joining virtual yoga sessions and enjoying (probably one to many) G&Ts.
Pre B&T days, I worked as a marketing manager at go-to London catering company, Social Pantry. My brother owns a pub and my other brother is a chef, so the hospitality industry has, and always will, have a special place in my heart.
Why did you set up Your Local Delivered?
A few weeks ago, I arrived back in the UK from a trip to Austria. Shortly after, I fell ill with suspected COVID-19 and spent the next week laid up, and quarantined for seven days with a lot of thinking time. Seeing the situation rapidly unfolding, I watched from the sidelines, spending days consumed by news (and of course social media) headlines. By day five, all non-essential businesses had been ordered to shut and just a few days later, coinciding nicely with the end of my self-isolation, the nation went into lockdown, my brother’s lovely pub, The Hopbine, included too. So needless to say, it felt pretty close to home. Like him and many local independent businesses, they turned to deliveries as their ‘adapt to survive’ strategy and from this pivotal moment, Your Local Delivered was born.
How did you go about setting it up?
The website has been developed with the help of my friends (absolute heroes), Chris and James. Like me, they both share a passion for championing local businesses and wanted to do something to help. We rallied together whilst juggling full-time jobs and used our individual skill sets to create the website in just shy of a week!
What are the benefits of YLD for consumers and producers?
Your Local Delivered is a free-to-use online community of pubs, restaurants, grocers and more, set up with one goal – to connect local, independent businesses with those at home during this global crisis.
Forget queueing, forget stockpiling, but don’t forget about the businesses that define your local area. We’ll connect consumers with their favourite locals, who are set up and able to deliver to their front door. A user can search based on their area e.g. hometown or village and if listed, any business offering a delivery service will be displayed.
What does the future hold for YLD and for you?
The response to Your Local Delivered has been overwhelming. It’s still early days but we’re constantly working hard behind-the-scenes to develop the site so it’s as useful as possible for both local businesses and users.
COVID-19 has certainly taken us all by surprise but it’s something that we’ll get through, together. I’m certain that although times are incredibly tough right now, there’s a silver lining to all of this and it will change the way we shop and support local businesses for the better. And here’s hoping that Your Local Delivered plays a part in that movement.
Thank you Charlotte!
You can follow Your Local Delivered on social media and of course, check out the website here. Charlotte and the team are keen for businesses to upload their own info so do encourage your favourites to get involved. This brilliant idea will hopefully carry on when coronavirus is a distant memory but it needs your help and support.