A Stewarton couple have converted their café into a delivery service, bringing bulk groceries that would have otherwise been used by restaurants to the doorstep of Ayrshire locals.

Gilmartin’s Bakery, ran by James and Steph Stewart, have repurposed their café to cater for the coronavirus outbreak. They are now selling catering sized foods to customers, bringing products like flour, eggs, milk and meat directly to those in and around East Ayrshire.

Owner James Stewart said: “At the moment we sell fruit, veg, meat, oats, lentils and pasta, so staple stuff. We have always bought stuff from local farms and we make everything from scratch, making for high quality groceries that people can buy in larger quantities. This stops them from making as many trips to the supermarket and thus helping with current government guidelines.”

Despite difficult circumstances, Gilmartin’s workforce is going strong, with the café even managing to hire new staff to help with increased demand for delivery.

James said: “The main priority for us is to come out the other side of this without having lost any staff. We’ve even been able to hire someone who lost their job because of coronavirus to do deliveries for us.

“Some staff are getting more hours than their contract hours. Our primary interest here, other than ensuring everyone is safe, is also making sure our staff can pay their bills.”

Emma Moore, staff member at Gilmartin’s, said: “Steph and James are run off their feet but it’s been good for us as staff as it’s given us shifts. We’ve managed to adapt and keep our jobs.

“We have been overwhelmed by how well people have responded to it all. We are learning as we go but we are figuring things out quickly. People have been really understanding and grateful.”

Cumnock Chronicle: The bakery can provide staple goods such as meat, eggs and pastaThe bakery can provide staple goods such as meat, eggs and pasta

With the UK and Scottish Government this week telling the public to only leave their homes for very limited purposes, James believes the café’s delivery service can assist the new measures while not leaving the people of East Ayrshire to go without.

“What I would say to customers is, follow the advice and stay at home. Don’t go to the supermarkets because we can take things right to your door. You don’t need to leave the house to get this produce anymore.”

Undeterred and remaining positive, James said: “We’ve all invested so much time and energy into making our café such a special place in Stewarton. We will fight tooth and nail for our staff and community.”

You can submit an order form for goods via https://www.gilmartinsbakery.com