Snow boosts trade

THIS week’s snow chaos has been a boost for local trading in Ottery.

While there were inevitable issues with deliveries, stores have seen footfall and profits increased by shoppers having to look within the town for supplies.

Very little could get in or out of the town due to the heavy snowfall and icy conditions. And for fear of the treacherous travelling weather continuing, people were panic buying essentials including bread and milk.

Costcutter, in Mill Street, received its fruit and veg order on Tuesday.

Assistant manager Marlene Cross said: “There have been more people than there might be normally. As for the rest of the week, that’s in the lap of the gods.”

The Co-operative, in Yonder Street, hadn’t had any deliveries on Monday but the bread, milk and fresh food had come through on Tuesday.

“Trade has definitely picked up this week,” said assistant manager Emma Salter.

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Mary Tratt, at K & M Butchers in Broad Street, agreed.

“Since Friday we have had some fantastic trade. We’ve been very lucky, we didn’t have any chickens yesterday, but they turned up today (Tuesday).” she said. “We’re trying to get our turkeys from Colyton. We’re not going to let anyone who’s ordered one for Christmas down.”

The Crusty Cob bakery has shops across the district. All the bread is baked at its base on Exeter Airport Business Park, and its Broad Street outlet was one of the few to receive its order on Monday.

Staff member Beatrix Godfrey said: “We had all our bread and people were queuing out of the door to buy it, we sold out. It’s made us laugh, because all the people we don’t see normally, and don’t usually shop locally, are finding us very handy.”

Beatrix caught the train back from London to Feniton on Monday, and walked across the fields through the snow back to Ottery, so she could work on Tuesday.

Ottery Tourist Information Centre manager Phyllis Baxter said the snow had brought the town together.

“People are out and about shopping locally, the town’s got a wonderful buzz to it,” she said.