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How Bethnal Green Businesses Have Adapted During Coronavirus - Essential Living

How Bethnal Green Businesses Have Adapted During Coronavirus

Blog London Lifestyle

The Covid-19 pandemic caught the world off guard, forcing us to change our way of life overnight. For many local businesses, that meant adapting to the “new normal” faster than most while having to find ways to generate income and adhere to the rules of lockdown.

If there are any benefits to take away from this crisis, however, it’s one of community. Throughout the past months, local communities have grown closer together while physically staying further apart. This is especially true in Bethnal Green, where businesses have contributed to the community to keep spirits high.

Here are some of their stories…

Mother Kelly’s

The New York-inspired taproom, Mother Kelly’s, shut up shop initially in March in the wake of Government’s advice to close all bars. But that didn’t stop them from having an active role in Bethnal Green and beyond.

They continued to deliver beers online, even providing free delivery on some orders. Their online shop is still operating too, head to their website to have a look! The most impressive feat, however, was the decision to host online virtual beer tasting sessions and make sure Mother Kelly’s kept that social connection with their customers while everyone was stuck inside.

Follow Mother Kelly’s @motherkellys_e2

Rinkoff Bakery

Rinkoff Bakery is a Jewish baker that has been a staple of the local community for more than 100 years. In fact, it was established seven years before the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918. So this wasn’t even Rinkoffs first experience of a pandemic.

The bakers have pivoted to online delivery and made use of services like Deliveroo and Uber Eats to keep providing residents with tasty bread treats. They even created rainbow cakes to pay homage to all the staff working hard at the NHS.

Follow Rinkoff Bakery @rinkoffbakery 

Make Town

Just under two miles from Bethnal Green is where you will find Make Town, a sewing studio that opened just six months prior to the pandemic. In a time of enforced lockdowns last year, the business joined Scrub Hub, which is an initiative to help plug the shortage of NHS uniforms.

In the face of the unknown, Make Town buckled down and sewed scrubs for NHS staff that needed them during such a vital time. Make Town stepped in to get the production up and running after a local doctor requested help. Make Town’s online shop is still open, so head over to the website and support this little business!

Follow Make Town

Fugitive Motel

The all-day bar and kitchen, Fugitive Motel, is located in the heart of Bethnal Green and has become a popular haunt thanks to its 16 craft beer lines and sourdough pizza. After closing its doors for the lockdown, it went down the noblest of routes and handed out surplus food to those who needed it.

Employees at the pub then headed to the Royal London hospital and gave food to all the brave NHS workers on the front line. Fugitive Motel also ran a food donation station at its premises with perishable items used in the brunch and pizza menu.

Fugitive Motel now have an online can store, and deliver their alcoholic beverages to East London postcodes every Friday.

Follow Fugitive Motel @ fugitive.motel


Sager+Wilde was unable to carry on serving its exquisite cocktails during the lockdown, but it still offered home delivery services for wine to the E1, E2 and E3 postcodes. It also launched a new online bottled wine website and opened a deli from Thursday to Sunday for food collection.

While waiting for the Government’s furlough scheme to kick in, Sager+Wilde reached out to locals via a GoFundMe page to help with its huge drop-off in business. Everyone who donated was then given the donation amount off on their order after the furlough scheme started.

Follow Sager+Wilde @sagerandwilde

Paradise Cycles

Cycling became all the rage last year, with cycle sales increasing by a whopping 677% year-on-year. Paradise Cycles have kept things ticking over, focusing on making sure key workers’ bikes are road-ready.

Paradise Cycles gave priority to key workers, from NHS staff to Deliveroo riders and fixed a raft of bikes. It also put key workers before anyone else, asking them to email ahead so repairs could be fast-tracked for the frontline. Paradise Cycles remain open for service and repairs.

Follow Paradise Cycles @paradisecycles

Keeping things ticking

It’s been a heartwarming experience seeing how local businesses in Bethnal Green have adapted during such unprecedented times. Even in the darkest moments, the community has come together – whether it was helping key workers or bringing people closer in a socially distanced world.

We doff our caps to the local businesses that have braved the storm and shown such spirit in these times. A round of applause to the amazing community in Bethnal Green.

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