May 30, 2020
Today is a great day! We have opened our doors again!! It is 70 degrees & sunny outside – we ordered that up too. Doesn’t it lift your spirits to get out in the fresh air? We hope Downtown Wheaton is on your list.
Yesterday, we celebrated the hard work of the Downtown Wheaton Association and the City of Wheaton and witnessed the opening of our favorite restaurants for outdoor dining. We never knew how good Phase 3 of Restore Illinois would feel! Wow. Andrew & I enjoyed a perfect bottle of Prisoner Red Blend under the Hale Street tents last night. Outdoor dining is happening all over town. With outdoor dining comes visits to local retailers. Please come support our local businesses! We need you!
So, here is the complicated part. All of us – shops, restaurants, service providers – we want to be there for you. But we must first make sure that our Teams are safe. There are SO many new guidelines to study from IDPH, CDC, OSHA, FDA, Johns Hopkins, City of Wheaton, the list of names & acronyms goes on forever. We are all doing our best. Small business owners are emerging from some of the most difficult weeks of their lives-quite literally.
Let me give you a little glimpse of the roller coaster. On March 1st, Andrew’s Garden was heading for its best year ever. On March 12th, we became really afraid as business evaporated. On March 21st, we closed our doors & thought we might lose Andrew’s Garden forever. On April 5th, we could hardly breathe. On April 16th, we celebrated PPP Loan success. On April 20th, we weren’t sure how it could ever work. On April 23rd, we started proceeding with cautious optimism. On May 1st, we hoped people would still order for Mother’s Day. On May 10th, we collapsed exhausted after a very busy Mother’s Day with a small team. On May 11th, we wondered how many flowers to order in case no one bought any after Mother’s Day. On May 15th, we thought this might be working. On May 18th, we were extremely worried about possible permanent closures of many businesses in Downtown Wheaton. On May 20th, we became hopeful for the restaurants. On May 30th, we opened our doors and celebrated-again with cautious optimism. How does your stomach feel now?
I don’t give you these details to ask for anything other than understanding. All of us have been through varying degrees of personal & business trauma. We have seen and felt the most extraordinary love from our community near & far. This roller coaster is in the minds of all small business owners and our employees. When you run into any of us, please keep that in mind. We are trying to be creative as we re-imagine and re-invent our businesses. Most of us have nothing but passion for these businesses that we live & breathe every day. That is what has given rise to my favorite saying today. Let’s try to outdo each other with Kindness.
Sprinkle Kindness Like Rose Petals!
— Tonya, co-owner of Andrew’s Garden