How four very different Sheffield firms have adapted to stay alive

Companies across Sheffield have had to adapt to stay alive – here’s how four have done it.

By David Walsh
Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 3:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th June 2020, 3:20 pm

A Sheffield brewery and pub company has launched a delivery service for customers pining for a taste of normality.

True North Brew Co’s ‘True North at Home’ serves food, made by its chefs, and drinks it has brewed.

The company is operating from one of its venues, the Forum on Division Street, where it has put in social distancing measures and stepped up ‘already stringent hygiene measures’.

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Head chefs at True North Brew Co. Tony Ettore and Rob Limmer.

Krissie Petfield, marketing manager, said: “To try to survive this difficult period, we have been busy working behind the scenes on how we can responsibly offer a collection and delivery service to give our customers a taste of True North Brew Co. pubs right to their  homes.  

“There's still a need for fresh, homemade food that is accessible and tasty, so that's why we've taken the careful decision to launch  True North at Home , serving up popular dishes from our venues, including guilty pleasures, home comforts, and  vegan delights.”

The firm is also offering soft and alcoholic drinks, including its own Sheffield Dry Gin and True North Cocktails, for consumption at home, she added.

And NHS staff receive a 25 per cent discount when collecting an order, with the code NHS2020.


True North owns several venues including The Common Room and The Old House on Division Street.

A Sheffield sign company has stayed operational through lockdown and is working hard to get all remaining staff off furlough.

Fastsigns at Old Station Drive, off Archer Road, has been supplying companies and organisations aiming to follow the guidelines with floor stickers, sneeze guards and hygiene signage.

'Buddies' P Joel Assamoi, top, and Glenn Fletcher have a virtual lunch at Tribosonics.

Director Garth Allison added: “We have managed to stay operational throughout whilst observing all guidelines albeit at a reduced capacity of 50 per cent but working hard to get the rest of our staff off furlough.

“Now we are seeing the demand from businesses that are looking to get up and running in the coming days and weeks.”

The company has produced a pandemic-specific brochure, go to

A Sheffield tech firm has introduced a ‘buddy’ system that randomly pairs workers to boost moral during the pandemic.

A Wildfire virtual escape room.

Tribosonic buddies chat or message daily and have a virtual coffee or lunch up to twice a week.

The scheme aims to help staff look after each others’ health and wellbeing while working from home.

Boss Glenn Fletcher said it was introduced by engineering manager Tom Chaldecott who used a random number generator to pair everyone.

He added: “My buddy is my colleague P Joel Assamoi. We talk a little bit about work and a lot about family and books and gardening and modern society and cooking and all sorts.”

Tribosonics, which makes sensors, has been working productively throughout and continues to innovate, Mr Fletcher added.

The company, based at Edmund Road Business Centre, has no one on furlough and has hired two during lockdown.

True North Brew Co general manager Caelan Colefax - Chambers.

A Sheffield experience company has solved the puzzle of switching from physical escape rooms, ‘crystal maze’ collections and motorised sports to virtual sessions.

Wildfire Experience Agency runs remote escape rooms, online quizzes, team building activities and online musical bingo after adapting ‘brilliantly’ to lockdown.

Marketing executive Alice Denton said team building activities played a massive part in boosting wellbeing and mental health.

She added: “Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the business. With May, June and July being our busiest months and were on track to be a record, the virus has taken us from around seven events across the country per day to nothing.

“As a family company that has been built to always be positive, to strive for better and to exceed expectations, we knew we had to adapt. We knew that events will be changing for the foreseeable future so we pooled our ideas and came up with a range of events we can run through Zoom or other video platforms.

“Whilst workplaces are fragmented and most people are working from home we believe that team building plays a massive part to help wellbeing and mental health.

“Everyone needs some interaction, fun and positivity at a time when some may be living alone or having limited contact.

“We can still give your team that event feeling to pull everyone together whilst keeping safe. Our team is adapting brilliantly to the new normal.”

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