A LONG established family business is flourishing after providing a lifeline during the pandemic.
Sheldon’s Dairy serves 6,000 customers across Cheshire towns and villages and had to organise an extra round to cope with demand.
“We were getting inundated with so many orders, we had to turn our website off during the first month of lockdown because we couldn’t cope,” said director Chris Sheldon.
“We soon reopened and have attracted an extra 1,000 customers in 18 months.
“Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would become as busy as this. It’s amazing.”
David Sheldon was 15 when he started his first round, delivering fresh milk, eggs and potatoes in Lancashire and moved back to Knutsford when he was 27.
With wife Pam, the couple expanded the free door to door service as they brought up their seven children, and are both retired.
A team of staff now run 20 rounds serving customers within an eight mile radius.
Chris and brother John work as directors and have developed an extensive online list of products ranging from fruit, vegetables, bread, cakes, fresh and cooked meats to groceries, pet food, coal, logs and gardening supplies.
Staff begin loading up vans at 2.30am and travel to homes seven days a week to drop off daily deliveries.
“It’s that personal touch that makes us so special,” said Chris. “We get people ringing the office and asking for our girls by name. They have a bit of a chat and we always check to see how people are.
“We have provided a lifeline.We offer such a wide range, people can pick what they want, subject to seasonality.
“Our butcher in Knutsford market provides a fantastic selection of meat and we use Bexton Cheese.
“We try to stay as local as possible sourcing our products.
“We deliver 2,500 newspapers daily, the only local firm that offers this service.”
The business has always supported the local community, raising more than £50,000 for East Cheshire Hospice through a lottery.
Sheldons hopes to launch more rounds and recruit new staff to meet the soaring demand for home deliveries.
A new app will soon make online ordering easier.
“Three ladies are constantly answering phones and we have 4,000 customers registered on our website,” said Chris.
“The lads on the rounds and the girls in the office are absolutely magnificent in their efforts.
“I am very proud of them all.”
Sheldon’s serves a wide local area including Alderley Edge, Knutsford, Wilmslow, Goostrey, Great Budworth, Mere, Mobberley, Over Peover, Lower Withington, Plumley, Rostherne, Over Tabley and Wincham.
For more details visit sheldonsdairy.co.uk