The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the closure of many businesses and the layoff of staff.
But for some small independent traders, such as Milton-based JW Walters Butchers and Bakers, business has never been so busy.
Owner Stuart Brown, his sister Suzanne Hampson and a few of the staff work hard to make sure the residents of the village do not deprive themselves of it.
But it’s not just meat that they sell, as the popular store is also a bakery and sells homemade bread, pies, sausage rolls and cakes.
And now the staff have started selling fruit and vegetables so their customers can get whatever they need.
They also deliver food to regulars and offer a collection service where customers call to place their order and go to the store to pick it up.
Stuart, who has worked at the Millrise Road store most of his life, said the business was very quiet after Christmas but they have been derailed since the coronavirus lockdown.
The 57-year-old said: “The trade has at least tripled since the lockdown. We have been very busy.
“The business was not bright and we had been turning the page since Christmas. It was the same for all traders. But the stores that have remained open are now bombing.
“A lot of our older clients won’t go out at all. We take a lot of phone orders and I deliver them in the afternoon and evening.
“And we get a lot of customers who place orders over the phone and come pick them up. We only allow one customer in the store at a time.
“There were very long queues outside the store and the queue got longer down the road and across the road and up to Langham Road in front of the store. .
“It never slows down. We cannot breathe. This past month has been the busiest I have seen. It was like Christmas – almost every day.
The store was run by Stuart’s grandfather, John William Walters, from 1932 and Stuart has worked there since he was little. He now runs it with his sister Suzanne.
Their father, 91-year-old Joseph Brown, who ran a fruit and vegetable store in Bentilee, still comes to the store from time to time.
Stuart, who currently works seven days a week, added: “We have sold a lot of flour and yeast since the lockdown began.
“We make our own bread, cakes, pies and sausage rolls. And now we have started to make fruits and vegetables.
“We only started on Friday and by noon we had none left. We deliver – but only to regular customers in the village.
“We have received calls from as far away as Biddulph and from everywhere.
“All our regular customers have to do is pick up the phone and we’ll be happy to deliver it to their doorstep. “
Suzanne, 56, added: “Last week we had to limit people to two large pies as some would come in and order eight or 10 large pies.
“We sold a lot of pork pies and sausage rolls, and a lot of vanilla slices and burgers.”
JW Walters Butchers and Bakers is the latest to feature in our Shop Local program, promoting independent businesses.
It is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
To place an order, call 01782 534627.