9 April 2021 · theolivebranchadmin
3 days to go… 3 more days to prepare for our Re-opening after Lockdown. We’ve been here before, twice. But each time we are given the green-light to get our Castle Donington Shop open once more, it feels like the very first day again! As we ready ourselves for welcoming back our local customers, it seems a good moment to pause and reflect on what has been an epic roller-coaster ride of a year.
At times, it’s felt like a mountain to climb. To have a toyshop closed throughout November, at a crucially busy time of year, just seems unthinkable. And yet, fuelled by mince pies and plenty of tea, we were kept busy gift-wrapping and packing your toys and gifts ordered online. As a local, independent, small, family-run business, every order is important to us. We’ve tried our best to put that love and attention into packing your items with care and even delivering free of charge to neighbouring villages. I think Alex will actually really miss this job once all you lovely locals can visit us in the shop! Our little website has done us proud and seen us through this storm. And it’s at this point, that we would like to thank the wonderful Kathryn from Little Fox Web Design for her un-wavering support and ongoing patience.
Similarly, The Rainbow Room, our beautiful function room and home to workshops and classes, has stood empty for over a year. It’s eerily quiet: images of tumbleweed blowing down the high street just like in the movies springs to mind. We miss the laughter and chat of our groups enjoying a craft workshop together and the giggles of children exploring new activities with friends. But after the storm comes a rainbow of hope. Katie’s new term of Wiggle, Shake and Make classes are already fully booked and a waiting list begun. Erica’s ECX Dance classes return on Wednesday 14th April whilst Rachel’s Pilates is in full preparation for 17th May. There’s definitely some fresh optimism in the air.
And it’s that optimism, plus the odd hot cross bun, that’s kept us going during this latest lockdown. We’ve had everything off the shelves for a good clean and turn-around. We’ve created new zones and displays in the shop and brought in new products. And a massive thank you to Laura, from Mini Aperture Photography, for capturing some beautiful photos of our new layout. We can’t wait to hear what you think! We want to make your first visit back to the shop safe, fresh and new for everyone. I think my smile will be the widest it’s been in a while on Monday. But please do be patient with the butterflies in my tummy as I try not to get my tongue in a knot and to remember where I left the spare sellotape!
The Castle Donington Shop has always been and will always be the beating heart of our business and we have missed you! Like little hibernating hedgehogs, waking from a long winter sleep, we can’t wait to have the doors open and welcome you back. We have missed your stories, your news and the absolute delight on your children’s faces as they enjoy the shop.
3 days to go… bring it on!