Mail-order mistletoe service racks up rise in sales despite lockdown

A farm offering mail-order mistletoe has seen a November sales rise despite fears the Covid-19 pandemic would hamper demand for the traditional Christmas crop.

Sarah Starkey runs Mistletoe By Post from Knighton-on-Teme, near Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire, harvesting the plant from her farm’s cider orchards.

The direct-to-customer service, set up three years ago, offers bespoke bunches and door wreaths, usually in gift boxes designed to fit through a letterbox.

Mistletoe harvesting
Mistletoe harvesting

Expressing sadness that 2020’s renowned local mistletoe auction has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ms Starkey said: “This year the holly and mistletoe sales down in Tenbury Wells have not happened at all, which is a big shame, and the first time for many, many years.

“But for us, more people have been looking to send products by post, and, I think, support local businesses or small independent businesses.

“People have been sending them to weddings that they haven’t been able to go, and to grandparents and parents that they maybe haven’t been able to see.

“At the moment sales are up but it’s only November and we have got a long way to go.”

Mistletoe harvesting
Mistletoe harvesting

Asked what long-term impact Covid-19 might have on mistletoe sales, the business owner expressed confidence that the crop’s traditional use would flourish.

“We make each bunch by hand,” she said. “It’s all very, very personal. That’s what mistletoe is really, a gift of love to someone.

“It’s a great tradition and hopefully now with some social bubbles being allowed, some kissing will still happen under the mistletoe.

“In the face of adversity we need to keep these special Christmas traditions alive.”