We've heard the phrase lockdown heroes a lot on the news over the past few months, but who were those closer to home, within our local community making a difference?
What is your business and your role within it?
I’m the owner of The Lime Leaf, a restaurant on London Street, specialising in Thai cuisine.
What does your business offer?
We offer authentic Thai cuisine available for lunch, dinner and takeaway. We aim to pick out popular dishes that customers could find in Thailand and bring them to the restaurant. We like to give those familiar with the dishes an authentic taste even though they are in England.
What’s the best part about running a business within Basingstoke?
The best part of running a business in Basingstoke is that everyone tries to support each other, especially during the lockdown, we had continued support from our loyal customers. My favourite memories of running a business in Basingstoke are when we are facing difficult times everyone tries to support each other. We’ve had a few of our customers walking pass and pop in to ask how we are getting on and to thank us for still opening. It means a lot to us and helps us to keep the business running and stay healthy. This has been a wonderful experience that I would like to thank the people of Basingstoke for.
How did your business react when COVID-19 hit?
Keeping our customers and staff was obviously our top priority. At first, we were always checking the updates and the guidelines from the government, look at how we could reduce the risks of exposure and keep everyone safe. We make sure all our staff wash their hand every time after dealing with customers. We have to take extra care when a customer enters the shop by providing hand gel and spraying work surface with disinfectant more often. By taking these steps, we can help prevent exposure and keep the risk as low as possible in our community.
It has been difficult, running a business in a pandemic. It’s been a challenging time for us, especially since we are new business owners and as a small business. It wasn’t something we prepared for, but we have to stay strong. We have learned a lot and are constantly changing the way we work to ensure we can carry on the business in the safest way as possible.
What made you want to donate food to the NHS?
The reason we gave the NHS and key workers free food was to support our local community and to thank them from all of us at The Lime Leaf for everything they had done and all their hard work during this pandemic. We can’t thank them enough for what they have done for our communities, but we wanted to do something to cheer them up. During this crisis, we also offer 20 per cent off takeaway food for NHS workers as a way of saying thank you from us all.
Why is it important to support local businesses?
It is essential to support local business so that we have a strong community. I believe that the quality of a local business is only as strong as its community, and we can’t be complete without help from our community.
What would your message to Basingstoke residents be?
I know this is a tough time for everyone, not just us as a business owner but to people who have lost their jobs and those affected by the lockdown. Some people are scared to come out from their houses, but our communities need everyone to help. Together we can breathe life into Basingstoke again.
How can people support your business in the coming months?
Despite the lockdown, the restaurant is open to offer a takeaway service, while adhering to the government’s guidance. We will be opening our dine-in area to our customers on the 31st of July, table booking will be required. Takeaway service will carry on for home delivery, You can order from JustEat and Deliveroo, but collection is also available with a 10% discount plus a free bag of prawn crackers.