Afternoon tea goes down a treat as Northumberland business serves up its 2,500th takeaway box

A coffee shop owner in Northumberland has been praised for reorganising her business to help the local community during lockdown.

Kris Blackburn, who owns the renowned Running Fox cakery, bakery and coffee shops, adapted her business model to broaden its offer.

Though the coffee shops couldn’t go on as normal, the Felton Fox was open for newspapers and takeaway, the Shilbottle Fox bakery has kept going and the Longframlington Fox could open for takeaway.

However, Kris realised she could bag up and sell bakery flour and eggs, buy in extra fresh goods and supply a Basics Box for collection or delivery - and even offer afternoon tea as a lockdown takeaway treat.

Running Fox.

After speedily setting up an online click and collect system, Kris’s dedicated team have this week packed their 2,500th Foxy Afternoon Tea Box for hungry locals, including special VE Day teas for back garden celebrations.

Kris said: “It took a bit of reorganisation to get ready, but we were determined to provide a service for our customers with online orders and collection.

“We’ve done everything from birthday cakes to weekend treat boxes, and our lovely customers have come on our journey with us. Our local suppliers have really stepped up, and my team have been just amazing.”

One grateful customer is Irene Moss, who said: “I feel so lucky to live in a village where people like Kris look out for their customers as friends.

“On the days when you just can’t bear to eat what’s in the cupboard, a piece of Running Fox pie or quiche, a chunk of cake or a scone makes a delicious change and feels like a proper treat - and I know the deliveries of basics have made a huge difference to lots of isolated people in Felton and surrounding villages.”

As lockdown eases, Kris and her team are looking at how they get going again as soon as possible as the Running Fox gears up for summer.

She said: “Like many businesses, we’re having to get used to the fact that things won’t be quite the same as we gradually re-open, but you’ll get the same warm welcome as you always have – at a safe distance!”

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