Eat Out to Help Out in Ealing

This week has seen the launch of the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme. The scheme offers customers up to £10 each or 50% off the food bill every Monday to Wednesday this month, when dining in a restaurant, pub or café that has signed up the scheme.

This Thursday 6 August at 9am Cllr Jasbir Anand and officers from Ealing Council will be joining West London Business and key owners of Ealing food businesses to talk about how Ealing’s town centres are responding to the crisis.

To join the "Eat Out to Help Out in Ealing; Supporting small businesses to survive" webinar live via YouTube click this link

The panel will be joined by Miguel Morales from Reineta in Dickens Yard and Edwin Harrison from Artisan café. Here we discover how Reineta’s has responded to the crisis.

“We are a young business, just one year old, and it has been challenging. We have been trying to find new ways to survive but we have done little things which seem to be working,” said Miguel, founder of Reineta.

Reienta’s is a café and a grocery store selling fresh, organic produce – and also provides a catering service. It has only been open a year and, as high streets reopen, is the first business in our series looking at how local companies have found a way to survive, or even thrive, during the coronavirus lockdown.

Reineta only opened in Ealing’s Dickens Yard in June 2019 and the effect of the pandemic has been enough to kill off other new businesses across the country before they had really got started.

To make things more difficult, Miguel said Reineta did not quite fall into the right categories to get government grants to help out. But he and his staff decided they wanted to keep the café open and continue to offer a service to the community. The business stepped up selling its goods online and delivering them to local homes. And it also played on the quality of the produce and the staff’s homemade cooking.

Miguel said: “We produced a document with all of the products we sell to let people know what we can deliver, especially for those who were self-isolating: Food baskets, groceries.

“And, of course, we continued to sell our groceries. We removed all of the tables and chairs from the café, threw the doors wide open and only put groceries in the store, which people could buy safely in a socially distanced way.

“We also decided to start cooking dinners for people to take home. What had given us the idea was that we had a suckling pig for a private catering event which was, of course, cancelled when lockdown began. We decided to roast it and offer portions to our regular customers and it proved really popular. We have managed to move and to change’

From then on, Miguel and his team at Reineta began to do dinners for collection and also Friday night roasts, providing meals for more than 100 people. “One week we produced 60 pans of paella, which would serve well over 150 people. The food is exactly what you would get in a restaurant, the only difference is you have to collect it in a container and take it home to eat.

“Because of lockdown, people were finding they had nothing special for dinner,” said Miguel. “It has been an opportunity for us to let people know we are here.

Miguel added: “People came to us and have got to know us now; and many have said they will stay with us. We have a lot of regular customers now, which is really nice. I feel like we are a lucky example. We are a day-by-day success.

“There is a great community feeling in Ealing and I hope even more customers will come to see what we offer, now that the high streets are opening again.”

 

The article about Reineta first appeared in 'Around Ealing' magazine.