Amidst the chaos, we can all find ways to become heroes within our own communities. Many of our fellow local business owners have found innovative ways to use their talents to do good; it is this creativity and selflessness that we want to recognize, support, and try to embody ourselves. As a consumer, you have the power to make a huge difference by shopping small, especially in times like these. We've reached out to our friends around town, and compiled a list of information regarding how many of these small businesses are operating and dealing with these new challenges, and how you can support them.
We'll keep this post updated as we continue to receive more information. Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com if you or someone you know should be added to the list!
153 Maplewood Ave
For the past few weeks, Vinnie, the owner of Roman Gourmet, and his team have been doing great things. What started as an effort to support many of Roman's customers who are healthcare workers and first responders, Vinnie began taking donations which he'd put towards food to be donated to those on the front lines.
This campaign, which Vinnie calls "Heroes for Heroes" has taken off, and Roman has provided huge amounts of food to hospital employees, firemen, EMT's, police, and the like. This heroic effort is not being fought alone. It is only thanks to the community that any of this is possible; all the food that has been donated has been funded by the donations received by willing and able community members. Thanks to these donations, twenty-nine trays of food were donated in one day. If you would like to get involved, Roman Gourmet is accepting Venmo Donations at "roman-gourmet" on Venmo!
In addition, Roman Gourmet is open for business solely offering delivery services.
12 South Orange Ave
Wildly Florals is currently taking orders for local delivery on their website. Josi, the owner, offers hand-cut bouquets, flower arrangements, Spring Wreaths and gift cards for the future. All items are handled in a safe, sanitized way according to current guidelines and all local deliveries are contact-free. "We leave flowers with the ol' ding dong ditch!", Josi says.
179 Maplewood Ave
Our good friends at Words Bookstore are still selling books and other items, including online gift cards on their website for home delivery linked here. In addition, they are shipping throughout the United States, but are particularly grateful for our community's continuous support. Jonah, the owner of Words, can't wait to see everyone back at the store as soon as possible!
165 Maplewood Ave
No. 165, who have been amazing partners and friends of ours, have moved operations online as well! On their new website, you can shop their collection of goods for delivery.
2 Inwood Pl., Maplewood
The Village Trattoria is a neighborhood favorite and left many with heavy hearts after closing down due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. Thankfully, they have reopened! Now with more limited hours of operations, a slightly revised menu, and new protections for customers and staff, they are taking every necessary precaution.
While the restaurant was closed, Mary Vayas, the Trattoria's owner, launched a GoFundMe campaign to support her employees who weren't able to work. This was an enormous success, with nearly $6,000 going straight to these hard workers. You can view the campaign, or donate here.
We hope that at the very least, this list is a reminder that supporting small businesses can truly make a difference that does not end with their owners. The empathy and generosity we've seen as of late has truly been an inspiration - let's keep it going!