Local shop owner discusses the struggles of opening her store only a few months before the pandemic and still building a business throughout two lockdowns.
Despite only starting her business in November last year, Fay Watts has managed to keep her store open, expand and build her custom base throughout the pandemic. Fay opened ‘The Dispensary’ with hopes to “make zero waste a bit more accessible to the people of Salford.”
The shop began by selling ethically sourced cleaning products, toiletries and gifts; all vegan and cruelty free in the hope to make sustainability more of a mainstream concept.
Fay said: “ it was really important to manage an accessible price point” so that the people of Salford could have the chance to make a difference without having to pay a lot. She hoped to open people up to the idea that we can reduce plastic waste in small ways that make a big difference.
After being forced to close after only 4 months of being open, Fay managed to keep her sales up through the first lockdown with home deliveries. She said: “It was nice, I got to know the customers really well and they really appreciated it; some even used to leave little cards out saying thank you!”
‘The Dispensary’ now stocks food, meaning they are allowed remain open during the second lockdown. Fay explained the importance of staying open for her loyal customers and how the locals of Salford have really helped her business thrive in such difficult times.
She said: “I did a post on my Instagram explaining to people that I was going to stay open and the week after lockdown began was amazing! The amount of support we got with people queuing and queuing was fantastic. Locals really do want to help the small businesses.”
Fay said: “I’m really proud of how the business has grown and that we’ve managed to survive two lockdowns. ”
“If we can get through this, we can get through anything.”
The shop is now trying to boost sales with their new Christmas hampers, all priced at £30 with a wide selection of gifts. The store is located in Walkden Retail Park and is open Monday – Saturday with their new Christmas selection now in stock.