The 600 residents of the car-free British Channel Island of Sark are now receiving regular deliveries from the upmarket grocer Waitrose. The island’s small grocer Food Stop has now begun stocking Waitrose grocery products to meet the demands of its residents.
The small Isle of Sark has just a handful of food stores in concordance to its population size and is one of the few remaining places in the world where cars are banned from the roads; only tractors and horse-drawn vehicles are permitted. To remain in-keeping with the islands transportation rules, the supermarket’s distribution of chilled, frozen and store cupboard items are taken by tractor-drawn cart to the shop.
Food Stop is now stocking a range of Waitrose products including fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh pasta, olives and olive oil. The shop is run by mother and daughter team Julie and Nikki Baker who gained national fame after their appearance on BBC2’s “An Island Parish”. Once the order is made by the pair in Sark, food orders are loaded onto pallets in the UK and make their way by sea, via Guernsey to the Channel Islands.
“We noticed that a lot of islanders were taking specific day trips to the Waitrose branches in Guernsey to stock up on their own-brand products. We thought that having our own stock of Waitrose groceries would be a great for islanders so they don’t have to travel so far to get their favourite items” said Nikki Baker, Food Stop Assistant Manager.
Baker further commented on the success of the venture with Waitrose: “It’s been an absolute hit with all of our customers and it’s great to have things like fresh pasta that we haven’t had delivered to the island previously. Everything is flying off the shelves and our customers know which days the deliveries arrive so, by the time I come in the next day, half the stock is gone!”
David Morton, Director of Business to Business at Waitrose said that the new venture has given the retailer “a great opportunity to sell our products in Sark”.