Constantine Cornwall

The SPAR’s the star!

We find out how one of Constantine’s valued convenience stores is keeping us all going during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Our village shop in Church Square has served the people of Constantine for over fifty years and, unlike so many other Cornish communities, we are so lucky that it thrives to this day. Kevin Haysom and his team have always provided a great service for everyone in ‘normal’ times, but they have gone several extra miles to meet the challenge of the current Coronavirus crisis.

We asked Kevin how they’ve been able to continue serving the community during lockdown.

How many staff are continuing to work at Spar Constantine?

“All of them! Sharon , Kate , Diana , Liam , Paco and Matthew work in the shop whilst Pauline , Gavin and Pierre (Pete) complete all the newspaper and grocery deliveries.”

There was news about supermarkets running short of supply. How have you managed to keep so well- stocked?

“We’ve tried to maintain a good service level by having Spar central office buying team using many national resources , but when gaps appear we have utilised our local suppliers more than normal to a better effect. We have also used the knowledge of the current staff who have come up with some pleasing ideas, notably the flour solution of decanting from bulk sacks into more manageable sized portions. Thanks to Julie Dobson for her assistance in this task. Also, the availability of plants was well supported, but I never expected to have so many requests for compost!”

How are you ensuring the safety of your staff and customers at the store?

“We have a six point plan to protect customers and team members, which is constantly reviewed.

  • Level 1: Normal trading conditions and normal hours
  • Level 2: Social distancing within the store and reduced opening hours
  • Level 3: Restricting the number of customer in-store at any one time
  • Level 4: Serve customers from the door only
  • Level 5:Home delivery service only
  • Level 6: Unable to support the village and unfortunately having to cease trading

We are currently at Level 3.”

What personal protective equipment have you been able to provide for staff?

“All team members have been provided with gloves, face masks, hand wash and shields for their personal protection. A customer hand sanitisation unit is currently on order and will be available for use soon. I would like to thank all our customers who have provided additional PPE which has helped us when supplies were difficult.”

How many deliveries are you making at the moment for people who can’t come to the store?

“We are here to provide a service to the villages of Constantine, Port Navas, Mawnan Smith, Lamanva and Treverva. The shop has been here since 1965 and without villagers’ support for the various shopkeepers during that time, it would not have survived. It is now our time to give back that loyalty and we are currently delivering over 350 newspapers daily and over 200 grocery orders per week.”

Kevin and his team have received many compliments from customers, either verbally or by card, which are very much a boost for them.

Although a business at the end of the day, they hope they are helping people maintain some normality in these very difficult times. He concludes, “We are currently working to maintain the standards that Constantine expects and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their understanding, patience and continued support in these challenging times. I would also like to thank all the team members that have given up their time to ensure Spar Constantine has been able to continue serving such a great village. It is a pleasure to work with them.”