Innovative Cumbrian businesses have made a massive difference to the lives of many during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the case of Roots Natural Food Market, based in Carlisle, a combination of a passion for helping the wider community keep healthy and entrepreneurial spirit has meant that many vulnerable people have been able to access fresh produce, without having to leave their homes.

The company started in November last year and its free delivery service has ensured that people have been able to access locally-sourced nutritious food, reducing the risk posed by Covid in the process.

“How it came about was me and my partner were furloughed during lockdown,” explained co-owner Kyle Henderson, who runs the business with Summer McKie.

“I worked in an office for about nine years and Summer works in care," he said.

“I think, like many people, we sat down and reflected on things and lockdown gave us a chance to look at what was important to us.

“We’ve always been big believers in the benefits of keeping healthy and eating right.

"We wanted to start a fruit and veg shop in the Lakes originally.

"Obviously with Covid, we didn’t know how long that was going to go on and so the prospect of a stall became difficult.

"In hindsight that was probably the best thing not to do.”

Their delivery service now runs in several locations in North Cumbria including Carlisle, Penrith, Keswick, Wigton and more.

“When reports began emerging of people struggling to get out to the shops, alongside how easy it is to catch Covid just when you are out and about, we felt we could offer a service to get deliveries straight to people’s doors," he said.

“We’ve always offered free delivery and always will because we don’t want people to be paying for delivery when we’d rather they be able to to put that money towards either purchasing what they need at this difficult time.”

Kyle said that all their hard work was starting to pay dividends.

“It’s building slowly, but week on week our orders are increasing which is obviously really promising,” he said.

“In this difficult time, I think people are a lot more aware of what they are consuming and the benefits of high-quality food.

"It fills us with joy when we see people messaging saying how much they enjoy it and thanking us.

“Our customer base seem really close knit with us.

"We’re a small company run by two individuals wanting to help everyone else out as well.”