It's not exactly business as usual at Fortwilliam Greengrocers on the Antrim Road but owner Kelly O'Hare is pledging to turnip every day to serve her loyal customers.

Fruit and veg shops were designated as essential retail businesses under the new Stormont Coronavirus restrictions — much to the relief of Kelly and sister-in-law Francine who run the store. (You can see the full list of businesses allowed to remain open here.)

However, social distancing measures have been introduced at Fortwilliam Greengrocers and no more than three customers can be on the premises at any one time. 

"Staff are wearing gloves and we are also sanitising and cleaning surfaces as often as we can," says Kelly. 

“Most of our customers are cautious themselves and they are keeping their distance from others. We feared that the Coronavirus crisis would put us out of business and so we're thankful to everyone who continues to support us and grateful we are still open. It means our customers do not need to go in to any of the big supermarkets which are all crowded."

Kelly says supplies are getting through to her store.  “We are fully stocked so you are guaranteed to get many items that you can't get in supermarkets. We did home deliveries to many of our elderly customers already so we have now extended that service to anyone who is stuck at home and can’t get out or is fearful to go out."

To facilitate the public, the popular Antrim Road greengrocers has brought forward its opening hours and is now trading from 7:15am to 5:30pm. 

“Our customers support us all year around," adds Kelly,  "so now is most certainly not the time to abandon them.”