Local business offers increased boxed meal deliveries in response to coronavirus

Published 10:21 am Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Simply Elegant Catering and Baked Goods is increasing the days for boxed meal deliveries in response to the coronavirus.

Betty Barnes, owner of the business, said the boxes used to be offered on Fridays as lunches and would be delivered to businesses before virus worries increased.

“Due to the concerns, we are expanding it to anyone who wants to take advantage of it,” said Barnes.

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Barnes said that the boxes are for everyone and will cost $7.

“They are available for everyone,” she said. “They are $7 a piece, so we try to not price gouge anyone. You get a main course, a side and a role or a dessert, so you get a good amount for your money.”

Those who cannot afford boxes due to money issues or other factors will be donated the food.

Menus for the week are provided on the restaurant’s website and people are asked to order a day in advance so that meals and amounts can be planned without any going to waste.

Barnes said that if this takes off, this could become a permanent addition to the business.

“If it takes off, we will definitely keep it around,” she said. “Right now we are just trying to weather the storm, and if this is something there is a high demand for, then absolutely.”

In addition to the box meal deliveries, the business also provides curbside service to individuals. The dining area is also remaining open at this time due to only having capacity for seating 12 people.

In response to the coronavirus, cleaning has also been increased.

“Right now, until we are mandated, we are going to keep wiping everything down, washing our hands, taking every measure,” said Barnes.

Employees who bring food out on curbside service will also be wearing gloves. Barnes said that if they had masks, they would wear those as well.

In light of many businesses across the nation being ordered to close for the time being, Barnes said that she and her fellow small business owners are worried.

“Any type of closure for any small businesses, not just us, but especially for the food service industry, if you don’t have people coming through the door, you have no income,” she said. “With us, if we don’t have people coming through the door, we don’t have sick pay and leave and vacation, so if our doors are closed we have nothing.”

To combat this possible reality for many small business owners, Barnes urges people to buy gift cards to go to businesses once the virus dies down, and to also take advantage of the doordash and curbside services that these businesses are now offering. She also hopes that by people taking advantage of these services, it continues to decrease the spread of the virus.

In addition to Barnes’ business, she named several others that are offering similar services. These include Jiggy Ray’s, Dino’s and Big Dan’s, to name some.

“I would just encourage the public to continue supporting the small businesses that are still open,” said Barnes.