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The Gog farm shop introduces contactless drive-through service on a pole



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The Gog Farm Shop is in Babraham Road, Stapleford
The Gog Farm Shop is in Babraham Road, Stapleford

The award-winning butchery and farm shop, The Gog, has launched a contactless drive-through to help stock Cambridge locals with their artisanal produce.

With no need to order in advance, customers can simply visit the site in their car, park in the designated area and one of the Gog’s friendly staff will come and take their order - at a safe distance. Groceries are then collected directly from the deli and farm shop’s shelves and placed in the boot. Taking every precaution, card payments are taken via a 2-metre pole and the card reader is sterilised after every use.

“It’s in full swing, the reaction has been really good - business has been phenomenal,” said Charles Bradford, managing director of The Gog Farm Shop. “Last week, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, we had 250 customers.”

The orders are processed in minutes.

“They drive in, park in the designated area, beep their horn and a member of the team who is dedicated to you who comes out. The driver drops their window down to discuss what they want,” says Charles. “Payment is quite funny - it’s a card reader on a 2 metre-plus selfie stick, the customer can do contactless or a card number if necessary, and then it’s sanitised down. It’s working surprisingly well, the whole process takes 15 or 20 minutes. We have an army of people to help, there’s a full team of skilled butchers and cheesemakers, the greengrocers is going absolutely gangbusters at the moment.”

The Gog responded early to the pandemic.

“Once the virus started breaking out we turned the cafe into a takeaway,” Charles says. “That was quickly closed down, but we’ve got the space for a drive-through on the farm so we started last month. There’s no minimum order. A lot of people are opting for the drive-through because they don’t want to be in contact with people to get their shopping, but if anyone does need a delivery, we’re doing it, just not en masse at the moment.”

The Gog Farm Shop has won Great British Food Magazine’s Independent Retailer for the East of England title, and was also runner up in the Observer Food Monthly’s awards in 2018. Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk
The Gog Farm Shop has won Great British Food Magazine’s Independent Retailer for the East of England title, and was also runner up in the Observer Food Monthly’s awards in 2018. Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk

Charles is currently drawing up a product list for a click-and-collect service starting later this month - as well as extending the delivery service to cover all CB areas. As well as providing a pleasurable way to do your shopping, The Gog has good suppliers, including for flour.

“In terms of stock there was a pinch point earlier on for flour, eggs and chicken but it’s been really good since,” Charles notes. “At the moment there’s a problem with broccoli and cauliflower because the harvest wasn’t good - but we’re doing okay, we buy the flour in bulk and rebag it - the mills are producing the flour but are struggling to get it into retail packs, so we are getting it into bigger packs. It was a bit of a masterstroke as it turned out.”

Plus, in the coming weeks team have also been working on an online collection and delivery service in order to support the most vulnerable in the community. Initially delivering to ‘CB’ postcodes, the latest developments for all these services are available by signing up to their newsletter.

Meanwhile, the shop is very much open as usual for customers to browse at a distance from staff and other customers, though Charles is extending the shop space into what was the cafe because “what was charming is a bit difficult to navigate”.

The overall experience has left Charles delighted: “We’ve had some of the loveliest feedback since I started in this business,” he concludes.

The Gog is encouraging “anyone that is really struggling” to contact them on 01223 248352 or at hello@thegog.com.

The Gog Farm Shop has a reputation for quality produce. Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk
The Gog Farm Shop has a reputation for quality produce. Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk


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