Ex-nurse sets up 'most Covid-secure shop in Norfolk'

A women wearing a face mask and gloves outside the shop.

Owner of Beth's Hampers, Beth Condron. - Credit: Archant

A former nurse has set up what she thinks is the most Covid-secure shop in Norfolk - including a 'hands in pockets' policy where shoppers are urged to look but not touch.

Beth Condron, a former NHS nurse, is hosting a shop in her out-building to support independent traders to sell their goods, and keep 100pc of profits.

Located opposite the Mileham Post office, the shop supports eight crafters from across the region. They have all helped Mrs Condron’s hampers since they first started in 2006, providing goods for the hampers that she sells.

A hamper filled with food and drink

Beth Condron has been selling her hampers in Mileham since 2006. - Credit: Archant

“Nowhere is open, and they cannot sell their goods and they depend on it to get through day to day,” she said.

“I have always supported local businesses, and I think it is so important, especially with Brexit coming along. There may be a few hiccups, so in our own little villages, having one location we can keep like a bubble is good,” she said. 

A come in we're open sign

The shop in Mileham is home to eight independent crafters from across the region. - Credit: Archant

“I know it might sound selfish but if we keep the wheels turning here then it's going to be a win-win for the county.

“Keep it local, let’s look after Norfolk.”

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The nurse of 35 years came out of retirement to help the NHS during the pandemic, being part of testing teams across Norfolk.

The shop from the front, the door is open and you can see goods inside.

The Mileham shop is working as a hub for Mrs Condron, as well as independent crafters to carry on selling in a safe, COVID secure way. - Credit: Archant

Wanting to carry on her business, in October, they transformed their out-building into what she thinks is one of the safest retail environments in the county.

Among the measures shoppers will find are one bubble appointments, gloves, masks and a 'hands in pockets' policy - with shoppers being urged to ask for assistance if they want a closer look at a product.

On arrival, shoppers find a sign letting them know if it's safe to enter, and are then asked to fill out a short form for track and trace purposes. If they use one of the shop's pens to fill out the form, they are even asked to take the pen away with them.

She said she picked up her good hygiene habits from her career in nursing.

A white table with cleaning products on it.

There is a number of COVID secure stations at the shop, including track and trace. - Credit: Archant

“I would like to think I have done the best of my ability with what I have got,” she said.

“Anything that takes away the risk factor, or limits it, is good. But, you cannot take it away,  you can only limit the risk.

“It's sink or swim, if I want to keep my business, I have to change and adapt."

A display of good for sales

The out-building in Mileham is home to eight different crafters, as well as Beth's own hampers. - Credit: Archant