WANGI Wangi Bakehouse is offering an innovative new service to customers who would prefer to avoid over-the-counter interactions during the COVID-19 crisis.
Customers can now pre-order and pay for items by using the Wangi Wangi Bakehouse app, then pull up in their car behind the bakery on Watkins Road, and have their order delivered to their car.
"You can just pop the boot, and our staff will place your items in," the bakehouse's co-owner David Woods said.
"People don't have to leave their car."
Mr Woods and co-owner Gayle Lewis said it was a new option available to customers on the app which had been in use for 20 years.
"People have been using the app to pre-order and pick up their stuff from the shop at a given time. And they can still do that. It's just that now we're also giving them the extra option of having the order placed in their car for them," Mr Woods said.
The new arrangement would appeal to many locals, he said, particularly elderly customers who would prefer to avoid person-to-person contact, whenever they can, at this challenging time.
Customers are not compelled to use the app in order to have their orders placed in their cars. They can also simply phone the bakery to place their order, pay by using their credit card, then have the order walked to their vehicle.
It's an example of how local eateries are developing new approaches in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Woods said the new service was another way of helping to protect the health of his customers and 28 staff.
Hand sanitiser was provided for customers and staff in the shop, and signage reminded the public of the best hygiene practices, he said.
Mr Woods said he was also planning to bring the starting and finishing times for his production shifts forward to eliminate the current three-hour cross-over period in the mornings when the baking staff and front-of-shop staff were in the building at the same time.
"Finishing our baking earlier would mean that when the girls come into work and customers start coming in, we [the baking staff] won't be there," he said.
Mr Woods said the Wangi Wangi community had generally remained calm and responded well to the coronavirus challenges.
"There's nobody wearing face masks in Wangi Wangi," he said.
"No-one is freaking out, and it's pretty normal."
Demand for loaves of bread at the bakery, however, had increased, he said.
The Wangi Wangi Bakehouse app is available for free at the App Store.