As Stay Home, Stay Safe orders relax, many small businesses in the Grandmont Rosedale community have begun to reopen to the public in different capacities. These business owners recognize that there is still a need for physical distancing measures. They are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and observing key guidelines, such as the use of face masks. We reached out to small businesses in the community to see what services they’re offering and how they’ve adapted their practices to the pandemic.
Nicole’s Voluptuous Bien’ Aime Boutique is open for business with reduced hours and appointments to promote physical distancing. The store will be open Monday through Wednesday for appointments only, and Thursday through Saturday 12 – 5 PM. Nicole has personal protective equipment (PPE) for her store and she is limiting the number of items that customers can try on. Unpurchased garments that have been tried on by customers are steamed and quarantined before they go back on the shelves. “Customers understand what’s going on and why it’s important,” Nicole says. “They want to be safe, so these extra measures have not been a problem.”
Lori, owner of Leanne’s Luxury Bridal Boutique, is also focusing on appointments to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Customers and employees are required to wear masks. Weddings are a big family event, so it was not unusual, Lori notes, for families of 10-15 to show up in the store. However, due to COVID-19, Lori is limiting appointments to groups of three members (the bride and two others) to reduce exposure. Appointments are available Monday through Friday 5:30 – 9 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM – 5 PM.
Lindsey, owner of Town Hall Caffé, says “the biggest worry is people getting sick.” Town Hall reopened on June 15 with reduced hours (8 AM – 1 PM). Lindsey used unemployment insurance and funds from a KIVA loan to hold things together through the shutdown months. Going forward, she is allowing seven customers at a time for sit-down service. Curbside and mobile ordering are available, and masks are required for all customers and staff. Visit her Facebook page for updates.
Susan is unsure when Pages Bookshop will reopen, but she wants to make sure her staff and customers will be safe. During the COVID shutdown, the store was converted into a shipping and processing center: “It takes a lot of open space to fill book orders,” she notes. The volume of the orders, however, has been quite high, which goes to show how much support she has in the Grandmont Rosedale community. Much of the staff’s energy has gone towards updating the website and creating a calendar of virtual events to engage the customers and community. For now, you can use their website to place orders and stay up to date with their virtual events.
SiGees Clothing, at 19184 Grand River, takes a stance similar to that of Pages Bookshop. Tameka hopes to reopen on July 1 but will only do so when and if she is convinced business can be conducted safely.
Business operations haven’t changed much for Brightmoor Flower Farm. Customers can still pick flowers outdoors, which tends to be safer than indoor spaces. The farm and its normal foot traffic allow for ample social distancing, which is also ideal. Lisa Rivera says the farm has received great community support. This support was crucial during the shutdown, which canceled many of the events and gatherings that are Brightmoor Flower Farm’s bread and butter. Stop by to pick some flowers or get a basket for pickup!
Roselady Productions is a floral shop on Grand River that opened in August last year. Between the construction and COVID, you can imagine that Rhonda, the shop’s owner, has had a rough time settling into the corridor. Like Brightmoor Flower Farm, COVID shut down many of the special events that brought clients to Roselady Productions. At the time of writing, Rhonda is unsure when the store can reopen.
Jai and Robert’s Pressed Juice Bar, an extension of their Juicing with Jai business, has been doing quite well: “Business is booming,” Jai told us. Jai and Robert are continuing to expand their online presence and have hired a delivery service to transport their juices. As they prepare for a public opening at their Grand River location, they are installing sneeze guards, requiring masks, requiring masks, and keeping prepared products behind the counter.
Krystal and Seanita, owners of North Rosedale Park’s Community First Tax Inc., say that COVID has highlighted how much their services are needed. “The business calls picked up during this time because our clients could not reach the IRS [about] the stimulus process,” they write. “That’s when we discovered we were needed more than we realized.” Community First Tax finds that they are using their mobile app more to offset the one-on-one nature of their consultation work. You can find their app at their website, which is linked above.
Dante is owner of Cutz Lounge and President of the Grand River Business Association. Cutz Lounge has reopened and is implementing health and safety guidelines, including temperature checks, limits on the amount of people in the shop, face masks and gloves, and regular disinfecting.
Detroit Vegan Soul is continuing curbside and delivery operations, despite provisions that allow restaurants to reopen during the pandemic. They are also limiting the number of employees working together at once and maintaining frequent hand-washing and sanitizing protocols. “We will continue to offer guests living in the Grandmont/Rosedale community no-contact delivery, Tues-Fri 4-6pm,” they write.
Numbers of coronavirus infections and deaths have been down in Michigan. In fact, a recent study points out that Michigan and New York seem to be the states that are poised to contain the virus. In turn, Stay Home, Stay Safe orders have relaxed, allowing most businesses to reopen. However, given the nature of this pandemic, we must always be vigilant to protect ourselves and others. We’re proud of our Grandmont Rosedale businesses and the work they’ve done to keep us safe and shopping small!