Reassuring our staff with the hygiene of Airdri

Real people talk to us about their challenges post-lockdown

King’s Fine Food
Luxury Food Distributor
Owner, Laura King

When COVID-19 peaked at the end of March 2020, the UK’s hospitality industry was dealt a devastating blow.

Hotels, restaurants, food suppliers and other businesses within this sector were forced to close their doors and prepare for the uncertainty of ‘lockdown.’

As the largest importer of caviar into the UK, owner Laura King talks to The Digital Line (TDL) about the challenges she faced running a fine food business in these most unpredictable of times.

“The majority of my trade was supplying caviar and luxury food to restaurants and retail in central London, an area which is only now beginning to emerge from the shadow of the pandemic and adjust to life in the “new normal”.

“Dealing with the private travel and airline sector was another challenge for my business as a food distributor, as this industry came to a complete halt when people were unable to fly.

“Caviar is a fresh commodity with a relatively short shelf life so, as you can imagine, another dilemma we faced was the quantity of stock we were holding, which would ultimately go out of date. Being unable to trade meant I had no option but to furlough staff, leaving just me and my daughter Holly King to keep our family business operational as we looked for alternative ways to ensure King’s Fine Food continued to trade.

“With the support of the chefs (who were based at home), friends, acquaintances, a digital offering through online sales, DPD and the post office (who were still delivering) we adapted our business model to trading only through our home delivery service. We collaborated with chefs on social media and called upon support from our local community to utilise us as a local food business.

“It’s been tough but we are a resilient duo and will not forget the innovation and kindness of those supporting us.

“We now see brighter days ahead and have taken great measures to maintain a safe, healthy, hygienic environment for our staff when they return to work as well as those who enter the building.

“We have been following the recommended government guidelines regarding health and safety, installing hand sanitiser units and marking the floors for social distancing, alongside our regular cleaning regime.

“As an additional safety measure, I have fitted Airdri Air purifiers in the office and packing areas. They provide the most advanced virus and bacteria control technology of their kind and have been proven to kill the Coronavirus family by continually circulating clean, purified air, whilst also being certified as completely “food-safe”. This gives me every confidence that we are operating in the safest fashion possible, which remains a vital requirement for us as a business.

“We are doing our utmost to support our team members, but also have a responsibility to the delivery guys visiting the site. Without them, King’s Fine Food would have come to a stand-still at the beginning of the pandemic.

“Moving forward the fine food industry will take some time to recover, and it may never be the booming industry it once was. However, I feel confident, that we have managed to get through these unforeseen hurdles, so far, and with the extended support of our partners and customers, we will continue to do so.”