BOSSES at a Bury coffee shop have been taking a step back in time with a bit of a teddy bears picnic with their customers.

Dom Richards from BAP, and other staff have come up with a novel way to keep social distancing in check and fun by putting bears in their seats.

The bears have added some joy to visitors to the Mill Gate shopping centre outlet.

Dom said: “We had to come up with an idea for customers to keep their distance and we did not want to see a bear...I mean bare shop.

“It is great people seem to be following the guidance and won’t sit where the bears are.

“It makes people smile a bit and laugh which is what we need after what we have come through.

“People have been coming in to take photographs and we want to make them happy.

“We have a friendly atmosphere in our four shops in Bury, Ashton, Altrincham and Wigan.

“It has been tough for our customers and they are happy to get back to see people and we know that a lot of our customers are elderly so meeting people is important.”

BAP staff shut their doors on March 23 and later opened for takeaways.

Dominic added that the reaction from visitors had been worth it.

He said: “The good thing about bears is that you all remember having a cuddle with one and how good it made you feel.

“Some people have been even sitting on the two-seat tables and then chatting to the teddies.

“We got the idea after seeing some photographs of a shop in the Czech Republic about it so we decided to follow it.

“We bought most of the bears on the internet and from Entertainer as there is no other way to get them.

“We have also one of our members of staff who is good on Instagram so we have been posting on a daily basis different photographs of the bears in uniform or even having a panini or smoothie or a coffee or a cake.

“It has been a bit of fun for everyone.”