Hazel Roberts interviews Molly about the local greengrocers she set up in Bletchley during the pandemic, which now boasts a delivery service, a physical shop and an online shop.
Molly’s Pantry is a small greengrocers and local food shop located just off Buckingham Road in Bletchley.
But this popular and thriving business would not have come into existence without the pandemic.
When Molly made the decision to study full time at university in 2020, she had not, unsurprisingly, foreseen a worldwide pandemic. Her business partner was working in theatre at the time so quickly lost his source of income too.
With kids to feed, they thought fast and drew on old business contacts to set up The Pantry. Originally, it was a food delivery service, running out of borrowed premises.
From there, a shop emerged, initially just on a fold out table.
A year on, and the business is a delivery service and both an online and physical shop.
“It is a real mind-blowing moment to sit back and realise how much has been achieved in just one year,” Molly said.
When I ask her why people should shop from Molly’s Pantry, she replied: “It’s not my place to tell people where to shop but our customers say that we are more than just a food shop. We are also about the community and helping people where we live.”
She goes on to explain that honest supply chains are at the heart of the business, offering good value, high quality produce that are local and plastic-free wherever possible.
In addition, they have supplied food boxes for those who need them throughout the life of the business.
With her own circumstances looking so bleak at the beginning of the pandemic, Molly knows how close she came to having to rely on food banks, so she says they will always do what they can to support people.
“Every time customers come in, they ask what’s new, as we are continuously developing and growing to ensure that we can be a one stop shop,” she explained.
Molly plans to set up some food education events, and there are ambitions to open a second shop.
“Given the state of the world currently, who knows what’s next,” she said, “but with the support of our community, we will roll with it.”