YOUNG Barney Bettesworth wasn’t going to let something like the Covid-19 crisis spoil his seventh birthday celebrations.
People couldn’t come to his party, so he took his party to them - the young chef cooking up a treat of mussels for his Torquay friends Peter, 97, and Anna Jaffa, who are self isolating because of Coronavirus.
Barney, whose family run Bettesworth commercial estate agents and Below Decks Restaurant and Bar on Torquay harbourside, said: “It’s my birthday, I’m seven years old. So we are going around to all my friends’ houses and giving them mussels.”
Dad Paul explained that they had originally ordered five kilos from Brixham Sea Farms for their birthday and Mothers’ Day celebrations for mum Gayle at the weekend, so they had plenty to go around.
When Covid-19 put paid to their plans, Barney decided to cook them fresh for his friends - with the help of a camping stove - and deliver them on the doorstep, keeping a safe distance away.
Paul said: “The mussels arrived on the last day the farm was open. Peter and Anna are in isolation and Barney thought they could do with some cheering up. He thought they would be fresher if we cooked them there rather then taking them in the car. They loved them.”
The Covid-19 crisis has impacted both their businesses, affecting nearly 40 full- and part-time staff.
Gayle, Michele and Adele Farrell have now closed Below Decks. Paul explained: “At this time of year seasonal businesses are running on fumes anyway for cash flow. If we don’t get any peak season trade, who knows when we can reopen, then those businesses are unlikely to have enough money to run through the next winter,” he said.
Bettesworths, based in the town centre, is continuing to operate though its premises are closed.
Paul said: “We are manning the phones and email. We can still carry on where it is practically possible. We are here and we want to do some work.”
Across the two businesses, almost 40 staff are affected.
Brixham Sea Farm which grows the mussels in Tor Bay between Fishcombe Cove and Elberry Cove, has had to close because of the Government guidance.
To see young Barney in action see https://www.youtube.com › watch › v=hzTd0QKjq-k