WELL known throughout town as the go-to spot for fresh homemade soup, fine cheeses, artisan bakes and local produce, a Hexham deli has continued to enjoy a thriving trade throughout lockdown.

The Hexham Courant launched a campaign in April with the aim of celebrating businesses going above and beyond in the community, identifying their special efforts by crowing them Trader of the Week

The Deli at Number 4, on Beaumont Street in Hexham, was faced with the difficult task of working with a skeleton staff at the start of the lockdown after placing a large number of its workers on furlough.

But, despite the closure of businesses around the town centre, owner and manager Jayne Pope said the deli had continued to see customers stop by the shop every day.

“We changed the way we operate as a business right at the start of lockdown,” Jayne said.

“Flour, yeast and sugar were our saviour in the early weeks when lockdown was enforced.

“We have carried on with selling cake and cheese, and that’s been amazing.”

The deli changed its trading hours to only a short period everyday, opening from 8am to 11.30am, but staff continued to work once it closed its doors.

Jayne explained: “We have been doing delivery orders and, because we shortened our hours, it meant we had time in the afternoon to be able to deliver to people who couldn’t make it to the deli.

“Alongside ourselves, the butcher, the fishmonger and the market stalls, we have kept everyone satisfied during the lockdown.

“We have been customer-led and we have continued to serve the town.”

In order to comply with social distancing and health and safety, the interior of the deli has changed, with only two members of staff able to work behind the counter at a time.

Staff also introduced a one in one out policy with a queuing system outside.

The further relaxation of lockdown rules by the Government on Saturday saw more shoppers return to Hexham town centre.

The prominence of ‘shop local’ messages from local communities, councils and the Government has benefitted independent businesses throughout the district.

Although the deli lost daily customers due to workers leaving the town, the deli thrived with sales of flour - an item deemed as gold dust to shoppers in late March and April.

“We’re positive about the future,” Jayne said. In light of lockdown easing, the deli announced it was extending its opening hours from 8am to 3pm.

Jayne said: “We have had to string out our days, and social distancing has an impact on me bringing staff members back off furlough, but everyone does their bit.

“Our business is local produce for local people and they support us all year round.”

Nominate your Trader of the Week here.