A WEST FIFE village shop has managed to expand its offering despite the coronavirus and lockdown challenges.

Post & Pantry in Aberdour has now launched its new website in its efforts to beat the pandemic.

Amanda Braid, who runs the shop with friend Pamela Phillips, said they were pleased – and surprised – at being one of the success stories since restrictions were introduced back in March.

"There was that initial panic of, 'Right, we need to protect customers, ourselves and follow the guidelines as well' – that was quite a moving target. When that settled, we said, 'This is what we are going to do'.

"Everyone responded really, really well to it. We gradually reduced our hours and did three mornings a week and in those three days, spent our afternoons doing deliveries around Dalgety Bay, Aberdour and Burntisland.

"We even made some deliveries to Dunfermline and further afield. During this time, the two of us carried out over 400 deliveries while also making weekly donations to EATS Rosyth."

With the village post office part of their business as well as their deli, Amanda said they had regular footfall.

"On mornings we were open during lockdown, the post office was still nice and busy. Mostly people sending parcels to their families so it was definitely a vital thing to keep the post office running as well," she said.

"For our little shop, because it provides a vital service, it also gets people in the door and provides a bit of footfall for the deli as well. It is kind of a win-win for the community and for us."

Keen to ensure they could come out on a good footing after the pandemic, Amanda and Pamela decided to launch the new website which they are hoping will continue to grow in popularity.

They have built on their already-popular provision of gourmet picnic baskets and cheese & charcuterie grazing boxes and are now selling postal gift hampers.

"We have been talking about it and mulling it over for a couple of years now," explained Amanda. "Although we were very busy during lockdown, we still had more time than we would normally have and it gave us time to do some planning and how we wanted to proceed with that.

"We have had a great response with the whole thing. From the first day, we started receiving orders. It has made the whole ordering process easier for the hampers and, as well, we have had a lot of corporate companies who have come in and said we aren't going to be able to have Christmas parties this year so we want to send little hampers this Christmas.

"I think that has been a real game-changer for local small businesses.

"Because it is just Pamela and I, we didn't have anyone we needed to worry about but ourselves. So we are able to adapt quickly because of that. This is one of those times when being small has allowed us to thrive.

"We count ourselves extremely lucky to have weathered this COVID storm so far, and we hope our website will go a long way in helping us navigate what could be a very tricky Christmas period.

"By adapting how we operate locally and giving ourselves a platform to greatly increase our customer base, we are feeling relatively positive that we will come out stronger on the other side."