Residents of St Ives and visitors to the town will be able to enjoy uninterrupted and sustainable wine deliveries direct to their doors this summer, courtesy of Scarlet Wines’ fully electric transport service.

Owner Jon Keast has invested in an electric bike (a Riesse and Muller Load 75 e-cargo bike which can carry about 60 bottles at a time) for deliveries in town, and an electric van for transporting wine further afield. Scarlet Wines is now thought to be the only wine merchant in the south west with a fully electric transport system.

St Ives town will be closed to most vehicles to ease congestion and enable social distancing in the narrow streets between 11am–4pm every day, but the e-cargo bike can continue to operate.

Keast said: “This will allow us to top up restaurants with small deliveries if they need them, as well as deliver to private customers who will not need to stray from the comfort of their back gardens this summer as a result.”

Like many other small businesses, Scarlet Wines has diversified rapidly over the last few months, using the complete break from normality to adapt its business model and refocus on core principles.

From a wholesale merchant with a small retail shop, during lockdown Scarlet Wines became a wine delivery service supported 100% by private customers who received welcome packages delivered safely to their doors.

The restaurant trade has boomed again since hospitality businesses reopened on July 4, and the Scarlet Wines store at The Old Forge in Lelant is open once again, but following pleas from customers home deliveries will continue indefinitely.

Keast, who is an active campaigner on climate change, saw the Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity to embrace electric transport in preparation for a greener post-lockdown world.

“We need to think more carefully about all kinds of consumption, and that includes wine,” he said. “As a wine merchant it’s my job to create a portfolio with a green conscience, and to deliver that wine with as little environmental impact as possible.”