Bonailie: Small businesses delivering safely

25th March 2020

Bonailie | noun | “farewell, a parting toast.” In Scots language, it’s pretty much ‘one for the road’, derived from French bon (good) and aller (to go). It’s meant to be a cheery parting, and it sums up how I felt just over a week ago as I drank up my wine and was handed a croissant for the road in a local bar. We were the last customers for the foreseeable future, at least in the normal sense.

As one of the many trying to support my favourite local businesses, I’ve been struggling to keep up with who’s delivering, who’s collection only, which postcodes are included and so on. Following the PM’s unprecedented (everyone’s favourite word right now) 8.30pm speech at the start of this week, a huge swathe of the businesses I had on my ‘to order from list’ had to press pause. The few little things I was looking forward to appearing on my doorstep were suddenly no more.

For about a week or so, I’d had this idea hazily lingering in the back of my mind. I wanted to create a directory of all the small businesses who could still safely deliver in Edinburgh (and beyond). Getting started was the hard part, I still work full-time and the pandemic has upped my workload. I’d spend an hour here or there in the evenings working on the plan, designing a quick logo and trying to work out the correct pronunciation of ‘bonailie’.


I hesitated over the idea altogether; should I really be raising awareness of anything that isn’t medical or food related? And then that word ‘promoting’, will these businesses get annoyed at me for missing them out, or indeed, adding them in? Would the posts be classed as advertising? The answer to all three of those things, I concluded, was no. For once, I went with an idea instead of letting my doubts get in the way.

I began yesterday and I’m posting daily as well as updating existing posts with any changes to services. Crucially, I’m deleting any that no longer deliver, as I want the directory to be 100% reliable – it’s not about a pretty feed (although I’m trying to keep it bright and cheery!), it’s about finding what you need at a glance. I’ve standardised the look of the posts because I’m not trying to promote businesses unfairly – I’m simply trying to make it easier for everyone to locate essentials as well as treats because we could all use a bit of cheering up right now.


Bonailie is all about:


So here it is! My small attempt at helping out: a wee directory (@bonailie on Instagram) of what they’re all doing in these strange times. Please share any that you find so we can add it to this list and #supportsmallbusiness 👏🏻

2 comments so far.

2 responses to “Bonailie: Small businesses delivering safely”

  1. Jean Smith says:

    Great idea Eve, thanks

  2. Val says:

    I am land-locked in NSW, Australia and staying with my family!
    A directory like yous would be very helpful here!

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