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This post will be updated in response to local and national developments, government advice, and any effects felt by us more immediately in the Foundry family. Please check back here as a first step whenever you need any information about changes to our operating procedures or schedules. Updates will be posted at the very top of this post and they will be dated.
Although most things are running smoothly, we're still seeing quite a few Royal Mail packages taking up to 6 days to arrive with our customers. This is frustrating of course for us all. There's not really anything we can do. Last week, we had around 25% of our Royal Mail deliveries affected. The only way we can guarantee quick delivery right now is if you upgrade to DPD. Hopefully, Royal Mail will be able to get back on top of things soon.
Everything is still running smoothly on almost all fronts but we are getting more and more reports of Royal Mail packages taking significantly longer than usual to arrive - sometime up to a week. I'm getting notes from maybe 10% of customers using RM about this and I suspect there may be more. DPD, on the other hand, are just as reliable as ever - with no delivery issues whatsoever.
We're still up and running as usual on the roasting front. We are starting to see a few delayed shipments from Royal Mail, but DPD is absolutely killing it and delivering 99.9% of parcels on time (according to them!). We've expanded our free delivery area to include to Hope Valley now too (on a trial basis).
All is still well here! The last of our local deliveries have now been delivered and DPD have collected our parcels as usual. We've even invested in some new tech to improve our local delivery service (info here) and we are now also making 'clean deliveries' to help keep everyone safe (using recyclable plastic bags and leaving coffee on doorsteps!). It's been lone working for a few weeks now for us which means that I'm probably safer at Cutlery Works than I am at home. It's rare that I see anyone else at work these days. As before, I'm not anticipating any specific issues in the coming days and weeks and I feel very confident that we are working well and doing everything possible to keep everyone safe - Team Foundry included.
We're still roasting and shipping as usual right now. Cutlery Works remains closed but we have 24/7 access and we have the building pretty much to ourselves now. We've furloughed the whole team except for myself so it might take a little longer to answer questions and things like that, so please bear with me. I can confirm that all orders have shipped today, via DPD and Royal Mail and all our local deliveries have also been done without any issues - just a few left to do tomorrow morning.
Our Cutlery Works coffee shop is now closed until things improve and it is deemed safe to trade again. For us, it's a blow but not an unexpected one and we are fully on board with the idea of doing what we can to promote public safety. Fear not, we are looking for positives and along with everyone else down at Cutlery Works, we are determined to survive and when we open again, it'll be better than ever.
Despite these developments, it will remain 'business as usual' on the roasting front and we aren't expecting any disruptions to that part of the business. Again, it's very touching to be getting lovely messages from concerned folks. We're hoping that you will continue to support our efforts to ride this out by buying our coffee!
Finally, we've had a lot of sad news today about so many people losing their jobs and our thoughts are with them and their families - let's hope that everything gets back to normal and that all these folks get into decent jobs soon.
As things stand, our roasting operation is largely unaffected. We are not expecting to have to change what we do at all in the future as things stand.
When we roast our coffee, it is in a large building which is closed to the public. We take our hygiene responsibilities seriously and fortunately, we work with a low-risk ingredient in this respect. The fact that people generally mix our coffee with boiling temperature water also further helps coffee brewing to be a low-risk activity as far as the risk of disease exposure goes.
We have recently increased the number of team members that can roast coffee and so we feel that we are in a good position to be able to continue with ‘business as usual’ as far as web-shop orders go. We are not anticipating any significant problems getting coffee delivered. Our couriers are meeting demand without issue at the moment, both DPD and Royal Mail have comprehensive plans in place to maintain their services. Should that change, we will use alternative couriers as needed.
We are also increasing our free local delivery area to include the following postcodes: S35, S5, S4, S12, S20. This is in recognition of the fact that more people are working at home. We will continue with our usual approach to deliveries, which happen to (coincidentally) be effective at reducing risk. Coffee will be posted through letterboxes wherever possible. Larger packages will be left outside the customers' property, in a safe place and in weatherproof packaging.
We have very little information at this stage about how long the virus could survive outside the human body and it seems that from the work that has been done in this area (read here), that it could be possible for the virus to survive for between 2-3 days on plastic. So, for those of you wanting to completely eliminate any risk, we would suggest waiting a few days after delivery before using the coffee we deliver.
Following the current hygiene advice remains the most important factor (you can find a very concise and helpful guide from the NHS here).
Finally, thank you for continuing to support our business. We have no plans to lay off any of our workers because we’re determined that by sticking together we can stay strong, adapt and survive this. Of course, we’re expecting a very difficult few months so your continued support really does mean a huge amount to us.
I have been overwhelmed by the kind messages of support from many of our customers in the past few days. As a business, we are determined to try to make the best of things, continue roasting amazing coffee and getting it out to you all so that your days can be just that bit more comfortable.
Stay safe and all the best to you and yours.