Sam and Roberta run Hot Milk neighbourhood cafe in Bounds Green and here Sam explains how their business is adapting. Adapting, not only to the low traffic neighbourhood, but also the need for fewer deliveries. This is a really good example of how businesses can play their part in reducing traffic and so emissions on our roads.
‘Hot Milk is based in Haringey but we have ties with the borough of Enfield Borough through many of our customers. We have been very supportive of the Bowes Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) since the beginning. As a business that receives many deliveries throughout the week, we had to look at the impact of the LTN. One of the first things we did was to investigate how we could get fewer deliveries. We started to consolidate in a number of ways. Firstly, we offered keys to all of our suppliers so that they could deliver during the night.
Our milk supplier was delivering every other day and we switched to a twice-weekly delivery. One less van on the road to us. We gave them keys to come during the night and they are able to put the milk in the fridge for us. They also now deliver all of our other dairy produce. We organised for our egg and smoked salmon delivery to be done by the same delivery company. Whilst they come during the day we have now limited what was a two drop to a single drop off.
Our pastry and bread come during the night – they have keys and are able to leave the pastry on our counter for us. Our dry store is now a fortnightly delivery and much of our fresh produce is coming from the local shops in Bounds Green. We discovered that they were using similar suppliers and we were able to support other local shops whilst providing a service for our customers. This is something that we are constantly working on, we are always trying to reduce the impact of our deliveries. Obviously the fewer deliveries we receive the better.
I also sometimes drive to the cash and carry, but my journeys there are limited and always planned not to be during the busy time on the road. I rarely encounter traffic by not driving at peak times.
We have one coffee delivery per month. We now take 5kg bags which use less packaging than individual 1kg bags. We also run a subscription service and deliver these locally via bicycle. It’s much easier and faster to get around locally.
Some groups opposing the LTN warned us of passing trade dropping but we would argue otherwise. Our trade is good and we are seeing cyclists, parents with prams, walkers, runners and more coming in every day. The idea that we are losing trade because people can’t drive here is madness. We’re a local heart of the community shop and want to be accessible to everyone.
One of the interesting things about the people we talk to every day is the absolute support that the LTN receives. People who walk here mention being able to walk here on a peaceful street which makes the journey more enjoyable. We’ve spoken to so many people who have offered words of support to the LTN. Not just parents, other businesses too who see the benefit of having fewer cars on the road. We have advised people to write to Enfield Council with their support but often know that with kids etc writing an email when they get home can be forgotten. We are very happy to pass on the many messages of support.
We fully support the bus gate in Brownlow Road. The idea that people could sit outside drinking coffee and having less traffic while they do is dreamy.
To add, we are very supportive and would be very very saddened to lose the LTN. If anything we need to fight for more of these.’
Sam, Roberta & the Hot Milk Team