GRASMERE Gingerbread is using its online store to stock products made by more than 20 small supplier businesses affected by the collapse of tourism in the wake of COVID-19.

The closure of Cumbria’s farm shops, delicatessens and other tourism-related outlets – along with the cancellation of country shows and markets – has hit food and craft suppliers.

“A lot of them – many one-person businesses and family firms without websites who supply products to us – have seen their sales drop significantly,” explained Joanne Hunter, a co-director of Grasmere Gingerbread.

Now, in a burst of collaborative creative energy, many businesses have created new products to be sold through the Grasmere Gingerbread online store.

“Whilst we already sell products online by the likes of Huttons Chocolates, The Penrith Toffee Shop and others, it’s fantastic to be able to promote entirely new lines,” said Ms Hunter.

The company is also appealing to other local artisans to get in touch if they think their products would be suitable to add to their range.

Their website’s Working Together page profiles 22 Cumbrian suppliers whose products they sell – either in the Grasmere shop or online store. So far, a Kirkby business, Country Flavour and Pure Lakes among others have got involved.