Food producers from Basingstoke are suffering in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Owners of The Shabby Gourmet, Simon, 61, and wife Maz Pennington, 51, from the village of Cliddesden, have predicted at least a loss of £1,000 in the next two weeks.

The Shabby Gourmet would have made around £600 to £700 per week from the corporate client but they're taking a two-week break from the office.

The couple’s food production line started two and a half years ago from their kitchen where they started making quality home cooked meals for freezers and have now branched out to corporate catering events.

“Coronavirus has hit us, and we’ve taken a nosedive in the last week. We're stepping up ready meals for people’s freezers. We have one corporate client, but our main business has been taken away because of the coronavirus.

“We prepare hot food at home and deliver it to our customers. There are currently 50 dishes on the menu and people can choose from our speciality curries to stews and chicken Kiev’s,” Maz said.

Simon said: “We need to keep shifting food out to people who need it. It’s financially concerning but we have to just get on with it.”

The local business is a week ahead of the curve in terms of tackling coronavirus.

“We are early on social distancing and selling to customers without any danger to them. I was listening to the advice from other countries, and the fact that we wanted to keep ourselves in good health to give ourselves the best chance of staying in business and ensure a safe service to our customers.

“Our younger daughter, following a chesty cough as Christmas a couple of years ago, ended up intubated on a ventilator for five days, at Basingstoke Hospital,” Maz told the Gazette.

The Shabby Gourmet wrote on their Facebook page: “If anyone is concerned about coronavirus and contact, please be assured that we are all in robust health and have taken extremely strict precautions since the very beginning of the spread of the virus. In order to limit footfall through the house and to protect our customers, we will bring your orders to the door (a change for our usual “come in for a cuppa and chat” policy), and you're welcome to request to collect your food from the cool box, outside our front door.”

The local food producers cater for specialist diets and almost all of their food is gluten-free. They're also able to do vegan and non-dairy dishes.

Specialising in Indian cuisine, there’s very little wheat and dairy in their dishes.

The couple delivers where necessary, but they would ask people, if they're able, to collect.

“It is really important to us that we can help those people who are not able to leave home for whatever reason, so where it is a game changer, we will of course deliver,” Maz said.