STARTING a new business prior to Christmas 2019, many would have not known what was lurking around the corner and how the world would change.

For Ellesmere's Moolah and it's full-time boss Pip Elms, necessity became the word, helping those who needed items and conversation during Covid-19 enforced lockdowns.

But now with a chance to strike out on her own, she says the Scotland Street business is ready to become what he and husband James originally planned it to be, championing local produce.

"Because we opened in November 2019, we went on a little journey quite soon after called Covid-19 so it got to the point where we were having to provide what people needed," said Pip.

"Or what they wanted or get hold e.g. when the supermarkets didn't have flour, we had flour.

"In some respects, Covid was like our best PR because it put us on the map.

"People didn't know we were here because we don't have a traditional shop front and it was tough to get people through the door..

"But they started talking about it as they had nothing else to talk about but Covid during the first lockdown.

"Our business partners have gone on a different direction and I gave up my day job to run this full time with lovely staff.

"We're back to focusing on local brands and quality foods."

Pip admitted that the two years of working under Covid helped her shape the business and the relationship she wanted to create with her regulars and more.

She said: "Moolah is also really social – they don't come here to buy their dinner and leave, they come for the craic.

"People that were lonely during Covid were coming here for their shopping because they could stay for a chat.

"We're trying to talk on a Chamber of Commerce level about what is Ellesmere's USP but I do think it's in a much better place than it was pre-Covid.

"We've had more independent shops open up in Ellesmere during Covid and lockdown, which is mad and fantastic."

A former accountant, Pip is certain she is in the right place.

She added: "I've worked really hard in my previous career, which was great, but it didn't get me up in the morning.

"Whereas I come in here in the morning and I smile, and I know I have stuff to do.

"In the summer we will be rammed, especially when the foreign tourists come and as long as I earn enough to get by, I'll be happy."