Usually, we start our newsletter with 'I hope you are well' and today I say this more than ever with an open heart.
Italy is famed for its culture of food, coffee, wine and the time we dedicate to enjoying these things. Over the last five years at Lupo, it has been a great pleasure to share the joy of Italian culture with so many people and I like to think during this time many of us have become friends.
So, when I say ' I hope you are well ' what I really mean is I sincerely hope you are doing ok and managed to find your way over the last months.
I hope, like us, you feel now is a good time to start a 'new chapter' filled with all the good things you have learnt and all the not-so-good crossed out : )
Carry on scrolling to find out about Lupo's new chapter and the plans for July 4.
Nico and team Lupo
Lupo in Lockdown
- a brief history of lockdown time -
On March 15 we posted a picture of our lasagna and a veg box on Instagram and asked if anybody would like either delivered. A few people said yes please, we dropped their orders off after work and all seemed normal-ish. Two days later we emptied the fridges at the shop, turned off the mains and locked the doors.
Being behind that counter quickly began to feel too risky.
Eight days after our first home-delivery the UK went into lockdown. Messages for veg boxes came thick and fast. Supermarket slots were scarce, people were shielding, others were scared and some were ill.
Clueless about the logistics of deliveries, we took to the streets armed with Whatsapp, Excel, pump-action sanitiser and plenty of hope.
The first month was insane. We were busy fools.
Desperate not to let people down, battling to get our hands on mozzarella,/flour/tinned tomatoes, days started at 5 am and finished at 11 pm, our hallway at home looked like a sheep dip. Every message of thanks meant the world and every slip-up felt huge and gut-wrenching.
But things soon began to smooth out.
We improved our systems, built on our knowledge of fresh groceries, familiarised ourselves with the delivery areas and my brother Giulio came on board. His help at that moment was golden (he also built up a bit of a fan base on the delivery route : )
A few days into lockdown a local NHS centre asked if we could make a lunch to lift team spirits. We asked our customers if they would be interested in donating with us so we could do it for free. That marked the start of many generous donations that were used to send doughnuts and calzone to walk-in centres and local practices across Salford.
It’s hard to describe what a lift-me-up those moments were for everyone involved.
During that time the Feed Our Heroes Mcr campaign was also going from strength-to-strength and they invited us to provide hot lunches for NHS staff. The time, the effort and the donations people were putting in to support others created a beautiful collective feeling.
So here we are now, 15-weeks of deliveries later with lockdown coming to an end.
Do we pick up where we left off?
-We won't be reopening-
Following three months of closure pubs, cafes and restaurants have the green light to open. Many publicans restaurateurs, baristas, chefs, bakers and font-of-house staff are excited. Back to doing what they love. And we get that, we love it too, but we won’t be picking up where we left off with them.
Each approach is based on circumstances, everyone's are different. Our location, on a cul-de-sac surrounded by offices, coupled with the reduced capacity and extra staffing required to keep things safe means we would be surprised to survive until Christmas.
We wish we were planning lunch clubs and making Aperol spritz for you all because we miss what this represents, the buzz of seeing familiar faces, the excitement of new dishes, the warmth of knowing someone enjoyed their lunch being made for them, the relaxed feeling they leave with.
Thoughts about reopening the shop have occupied our minds for months. Will we, won't we?
The truth is the thought of a near-empty space with people in masks and non-stop worries about making ends meet seem too risky right now. And like all other business owners, we also fear the call about localised lockdowns, what happens if we all need to quarantine? Turn the mains off again for another month?
At the moment no one has the answers, there’s no right or wrong. We solidly support every coffee shop, restaurant and pub that reopens over the next few weeks. 100%. It's all about championing local business and enterprises. These are the beating souls of our communities.
Does all of this mean it's curtains for Lupo?
Not a chance.
We are about to knock up a gear.
-without the brakes on-
Don't worry, we aren't about to crash into your privets, when I say we are taking the breaks off I mean we are about to take everything we learned over the last few months and make it bigger and better and more refined.
The last few months have been wonderful and also limited. We have been working in a very small kitchen with just one chef to keep safe. My trusty Volvo has been taking care of deliveries and there's only so much she can fit in. All orders have been managed through WhatsApp (it's been chaotic at times, I can only apologise).
Now is time to take the brakes off.
We have signed on new space - a soon-to-be commercial kitchen and a hub for your deliveries. A website is also in the pipeline.
I am so excited about the new menu and all the things we can deliver to your home, I feel like I could burst.
For those that have already ordered veg boxes, fresh pizza dough, doughnuts, lasagna, coffee bean, birthday cakes and everything else we offer I thank you so much for your support, without it we would have gone under. Because of you, we will survive and be stronger.
Grazie, grazie, grazie from the bottom of my heart and from team Lupo (who all kept working full-time like absolute troopers throughout lockdown).
Grazie again everyone.
Nico and Team Lupo
If you haven't ordered yet, then join in, Whatsapp me 07847 028 685 and I will send you the full menu : )