National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

02 October 2020

Food businesses have faced incredible challenges during the pandemic and Pastry Chef and Chocolatier Zoe Anderson lost most of her business overnight when lockdown was announced. Zoe explains how she’s diversified to stay afloat.

Q. What is your job?

I am a self-employed Pastry Chef and Chocolatier running my own business Tiers of Joy Patisserie.

Q. Has the Coronavirus impacted your work?

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, 90% of my work disappeared overnight on 23 March. All but one of the other businesses I supply had to close and I was unable to go into people’s homes to deliver afternoon teas or host workshops.

Q. What plans have you put in place to manage the impact of the outbreak?

I had started doing additional training with IAgSA (The Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators) prior to lockdown in February to broaden my rural business administration and bookkeeping skills – and to have an additional line of work. Initially lockdown meant the training was postponed, which brought me back to square one. However, the training courses have started being delivered by Zoom, which has worked fantastically well and given me something to look forward to each week. I hope that as restrictions start to ease, I will be able to start supplying local businesses with my products again but if I can’t, then I know I can find other work to keep me afloat. 

Q. How do you feel about the essential role British farming is playing during the crisis?

Not only is British farming continually supplying the nation with great British produce, it is also offering job opportunities to furloughed workers. I hope lockdown has encouraged more people to support their local butchers, farm shops and greengrocers and in turn taught the public to think about where their food comes from.

Q. With growing concerns about food shortages – what would your message be to people about this?

Support your local farm shops, greengrocers, bakers and butchers! Local shops using local produce will not run out of food and more often than not they will be able to give you a much more personal shopping experience than a supermarket. Supporting British farming has never been more important.

Q. Are you managing to stay connected to your YFC at the moment?

My YFC club was meeting via Zoom every week, doing scavenger hunts round the house and quizzes. I have only managed to join in twice, but they all seem to be having great fun. We have also had a couple of management meetings over Zoom as a County, including our AGM. It was nice to see people, even if it was only through a screen.

Q. What ways are you all supporting each other?

Social media can be a great way to stay in contact and let people know about snippets of your day but I do think picking up the phone for a chat is the best way to support each other.


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