About a week and a half ago, when I started working on this story, five of the six local restaurants/food specialty stores I’d planned to contact were still conducting business – albeit in a limited way – in downtown Farmington during the Coronavirus quarantine.
When I started actually writing, the number had dwindled to three.
This has become the new COVID-19 “normal” – which is to say, a time of constant change – since Michigan schools (and other places where people gather) began the process of shutting down on Friday, March 13th.
“I remember leaving work that day, and I counted fourteen open spots in the back parking lot,” said Jeff Pavlik, co-owner of Sunflour Bakehaus. “You’d never usually see that many spots open in downtown Farmington on a Friday night.”
This was only the first of several striking signs of the times, as sidewalks and streets emptied, and local restaurants and food specialty stores scrambled to adapt to a carryout- and delivery-only model.
“Previous to the COVID crisis, we only had online ordering for ice cream cakes,” said Browndog Barlor and Restaurant co-owner Paul Gabriel. “The platform we were using really was not the best platform to use for restaurant ordering. …We had to pivot to a completely different platform overnight, build out our entire menu, and test everything to ensure it functions. That was a monumental task to pull off in 24 hours. The system is still not perfect, but we’re learning as we go.” READ THE REST HERE