It’s challenging enough to run a small business under the best of circumstances, yet alone during a global pandemic. While many storefronts are forced to shutter in the name of social distancing, some business owners are trying out different new ways to turn a profit. Ever resourceful and steadfast, these locals are showing their pluck, their perseverance and most of all their flexible mindset. Here are some words of wisdom and creative ideas from Coronado business owners during the COVID-19 crisis.
David Adams, owner of Martial Arts America: Getting a Kick out of Online Instruction
Even though his karate studio is closed for group instruction, David is able to keep the martial arts practice alive and kicking in the living rooms of his students via online classes with Zoom.
“As you can imagine, I’ve stopped all in-person classes, and I’ve transitioned to 100% online instruction,” says David. “I’m so glad that I can continue offering my programs to the community. I’m also very impressed with the students’ focus…I was worried the little ones would lose focus, but they have really impressed me. One of the other things I did, was give students the option to take classes seven days a week. This really adds value to the program, and gives them an activity every single day. I also send all the class recordings to my students, so they can follow along if they didn’t make it to the live event, or if they want to repeat the training. Everyone seems really pleased with the transition. Things are different now, but they aren’t impossible, so don’t give up.” For information on virtual karate classes, message David Adams at 619-203-1733 or email Sensei@coronadokarate.com
Kristen Vincent, Owner of Kristen Vincent Photography: Helping Families Capture Quarantine Memories with Front Porch Photo Sessions.
To make ends meet during the COVID-19 crisis, local photographer Kristen Vincent conjured up a magical way to capture family coziness with front porch photo sessions. “I’ve had a ton of people asking if I could offer these,” says Kristen. “This is such a strange time, but there is still beauty in it! I’m excited to photograph you and your people on your porch or balcony, as a way of documenting a glimpse of what this time was to you.” Each session takes a quick five minutes, and each patron will receive five beautiful digital images, all for $99. Sessions will only take place when restrictions are banned for non-essential workers, and Kristen will continue to maintain six feet social distancing. See this link to sign up.
Sandro Lattenero, Nado Republic: Helping Locals Break Bread
Is there anything better than sinking your fork into classic Italian cuisine? While you can’t dine in at Nado Republic right now, patrons can still order from a full menu of Italian tastiness, and even sign up for a bread plan. “We are working to give good service to our local customers,” says Sandro. “We are keeping the full menu for takeout, and adding a 15% discount. We think in this somewhat ‘boring’ time, people will appreciate a bit of normality and have fun picking from the full menu. We are also starting to bake extra fresh bread which we sell for $6. We are hoping to start a door-to-door delivery for fresh bread, once we get enough subscribers to our ‘Bread Plan.’” For info on the Bread Plan, or to order takeout with 15% off, go to www.nadorep.com call 619-996-3271.
Emma Jane Wellings, Co-Founder My-Style-On-the-Go: Keeping Local Ladies Chic
Style-savvy Emma Jane knows that women still want to feel pretty, even though they’re stuck at home. So she’s adapting her business–usually fueled by shopping parties–to an online buying model. “During these unexpected and unprecedented times, businesses large and small are having to adapt their offerings, their modes of practice, and hardest of all, their mindset,” says Emma Jane. “Typically, you will find us out and about being social at our pop-up events around the island. But now we’re busy ramping up our online activity to bring a much-needed pick-me-up for local women and beyond. You’re invited to sit back in your PJs, and sip and shop our website. We have just launched a whole new collection of loungewear for the new ‘stay at home’ lifestyle to ensure you stay stylish through the rough times. And of course, we offer free shipping until further notice.” Buyers can save 20% off loungewear with the code LOUNGE20. Shop online now at http://www.mystyleonthego.com.
Andy Owen, Owner of Belle Window Cleaning: Letting the Sun Shine In
You may be stuck inside, but you can still get lovely spring views with squeaky-clean windows. “To drum up business during this time, I am offering exterior-only window cleaning services with a $50 discount,” says Andy. “I’m also disinfecting homes and sidewalk porch areas by offering pressure washing services. I’m giving free digital estimates, or going by the home and walking the perimeter. I have been able to have zero contact with customers, as they can leave checks under the carpet.” To set up a window cleaning or to obtain an estimate, contact Andy at 619-538-9779.
Anthony Pascale, Owner Saiko Sushi: Keeping it Fresh
Are you avoiding making a trip to the grocery store? You can still get fresh, locally-caught fish without hitting up the market. In addition to grabbing sushi (and sake) takeout, patrons of Saiko Sushi can purchase local fish to take home and cook. “I’m still going to the market every day and I’m selling fresh fish by the pound at discounted prices,” says Anthony. “I change the menu daily. I’ve had tuna, monchong, halibut, grouper, opah, yellowtail and salmon. I just want to make sure that everyone can get fresh fish one way or the other.” To place a take out order or secure your piece of fresh fish, contact Saiko Sushi at 619-435-0868.
Tricia Logan-Locke, Celtic Corner: Sending Loved Ones Cheer
In such a stressful time, Tricia knows how important it is for locals to feel like they can send loved ones gifts. “I’m trying a few different angles in order to attract people to shop local,” says Tricia. “I’m offering video calls, or telephonic personal shopping which can also include photographs of product. I recently did a video on using hankies to send to loved ones or friends who are shut in, which is almost everyone. For $12 someone can purchase a hankie which I will then send for them. With the hankie is a hand written note done in Calligraphy. For your readers, I will offer this at $10. That includes everything, including the envelope and the postage. For Easter, I think they are a lovely gesture.” Call or text Tricia at 619-244-2894, or visit www.celticorner.net.
Rachel Sandmann, Earth, Wind & Sea of Coronado: Infusing Joy and Color into the Community
One our town’s most iconic gift shops is still lifting the spirits of locals with its special gifts. “We consider our store as part of the community, and we are here to help anyway we can,” says Rachel. “Hopefully we can help people celebrate special personal events that will be coming and going during this period, as well as help people spread some good cheer. We’re continuing to offer free gift-wrapping on all purchases upon request. For our local Coronado customers, we are continuing our policy of free local delivery.” Patrons can shop through their website, EarthWindSea.com, or call 619-522-9633. Buyers can also do personalized “cell phone shopping” where shop owners work interactively with the customer by talking to them and texting pictures of merchandise. According to Rachel, this works well with artist-made products where the selection is unique and varied.
Do you know any local business owner that is getting creative in the community? Please share in the comments below.