Editor’s note: we will update this article as we receive new information.
Coronavirus may not be in the South Orange-Maplewood area at the moment, but local businesses are already hard at work to keep their customers safe and healthy.
Sales at Green Point Juicery on Baker Street in Maplewood have been brisk. “We are selling out of our Immune Booster shots every day,” said an employee at the counter of their cold pressed ginger and lemon juice shots. “People want to do what they can to support their immune systems. We are doing our best to keep up with demand.” And indeed, the store was bustling on a Tuesday afternoon, with customers asking advice for the best juice to detox their bodies and keep them well.
D&I Fitness on South Orange Avenue reached out to its clients letting them know they are following CDC recommendations and going even further to keep the gym clean. In an email from March 6, management wrote, “[w]e will continue to place emphasis on the disinfection of all our equipment and machines, including being extra vigilant about the precautions and cleaning protocols that we already have set in place. We clean regularly and frequently with Cavacide and Clear Gear. These are used on all surfaces and equipment.”
Yoni Kreger Salon in South Orange has stepped up its regular sanitation and cleaning measures. “In addition to daily sterilization of all combs, brushes, and other tools, we are also wiping down—at least twice a day—all ‘high-touch’ surfaces: door handles, light switches, chairs, reception desk (including phones, computer keyboards, and mice).” Staff are practicing frequent handwashing and wiping down their cellphones throughout the day.
Staynd Color in Maplewood is keeping doors and windows open while disinfecting floor, bathrooms and commonly used surfaces. They are also using paper and plastic cups for water, coffee or tea and disinfecting all robes, capes, towels, brushes and products. “We will be wearing gloves to take payments and hand sanitizer is located in many areas of the salon for use,” according to an email. “In addition, we have ample alcohol-based sterilizer, and we encourage all of our guests to wash or sterilize their hands when they enter our salon and before they leave.”
The Cassidy Bar & Kitchen is also being proactive with coronavirus safety. “…The Cassidy / Gladstone Tavern is taking all precautions to protect our guests and staff from the Coronavirus,” said the owners in an email earlier this week. Bartenders and chefs are using latex gloves for all food and beverage preparations, hand sanitizing stations are used continuously, and staff is sanitizing tables and all tabletop items before setting them for guests.
Another Maplewood restaurant owner said they were continuing to clean regularly as they always do — but now with cleaning products containing bleach for an extra step of caution.
The Able Baker in Maplewood has taken to using all disposable plates and cutlery instead of reusable.
South Orange business owner Cat Fisher posted on Facebook on Wednesday, “I can vouch that both Sadie’s and Kitchen a la Mode is deep cleaning all surfaces and will be sending home anyone who is under the weather.”
Sonny’s Bagels in South Orange said in an email on Thursday they were following CDC and local health department recommendations “regarding food handling, quality and sanitation. This includes frequent hand washing and sanitizing of all hard surfaces and commonly touched objects. Employees have been explicitly instructed to stay home if they feel sick. We have a paid sick day policy, which I am proud to say we had BEFORE the government mandate.”
In addition, beginning Saturday, March 14 Sonny’s will offer curb side and home delivery with their staff. More details are coming on Friday by email and on Facebook, on Friday.
There are some businesses that pick up when the hint of coronavirus comes to town. The Walgreens on Springfield Avenue, for example, is experiencing “greater traffic than usual,” according to one employee. They are sold out of hand sanitizer, Lysol and other coronavirus killing cleaning supplies at the moment, but get new shipments in frequently.
“Our cleaning regime has always been meant to keep germs at bay, so no additional cleaning routines are needed,” said the Walgreens employee. “This is not super different from any type of natural disaster, so we are ready. As usual.”
Palmer’s Sweetery on Highland Place in Maplewood Village posted on their Facebook page on Wednesday: “We’ve implemented hourly sanitation processes in the dining area. There is more handwashing than normal taking place by our staff. We’re also just using common sense, and staying home if sick. We ask you to do the same, and to keep others safe by washing your hands in our (immaculate) bathroom when you visit. Keeping your hands off of our protective glass when in the shop.”
The post continues: “Please continue to support your local small businesses, as this is a scary time for us all. We’ll be here serving up good food, tasty drinks and smiles.”
Sonnys Bagels is open and ready for business. “We are following recommendations from the CDC and local health department on best practices to ensure safe food handling, quality and sanitation…Employees have been explicitly instructed to stay home if they feel sick. We have a paid sick day policy, which I am proud to say we had BEFORE the government mandate.”
They also have some big news. “Starting Saturday March 14, I am pleased to announce that we will be offering curb side and home delivery with our own staff. Details of these new programs will be released via email and @Sonnysbagels on Facebook, on Friday. As you may know delivery is currently available via Uber Eats (and shortly via Grubhub). Of course, we are always delighted to see you in the store.”
The staff at Yoni Kreger Salon is also implementing additional measures. In a lengthy email to clients, they stated, “[w]e have stepped up our sanitation and cleaning measures beyond the high standards we have always maintained…All stylists and staff are abiding by CDC recommendations and washing our hands FREQUENTLY for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water, and wiping down our personal cell phones periodically throughout the day as well.
While we are happy to continue servicing our clients, we do ask that, if you have a fever or other symptoms of respiratory illness, that you reschedule your appointment until you feel better (and to call your healthcare provider immediately). Stay beautiful and safe.”
At Staynd Color they are also going the extra mile to keep customers healthy. Their extra mile includes oranges, sage and fresh air. In an announcement this morning, they said they keep, “[d]oors and windows open while disinfecting the salon floors bathroom AND the most commonly used surfaces with the proper disinfectants. [They use p]aper and plastic cups for water coffee tea. All client robes capes towels are disinfected and put directly in the laundry. All brush combs clips and products are disinfected after each use. Before & After each service, all of the tools commonly used surfaces are disinfected. We will be wearing gloves to take payments and hand sanitizer is located in many areas of the salon for use
We are also advising our staff and you the community if you are not feeling well please don’t hesitate to let us know and we would be more than happy to reschedule your appointment.”
And Kimaya Kama has all-natural hand sanitizers. In an email to Village Green, they tell us how they are keeping their store coronavirus safe. “We [Kimaya Kama in Maplewood Village] are disinfecting our counter tops, all door knobs as well as our POS system at checkout throughout the day. We have set-up an area on our counter with antibacterial wipes, antibacterial gel and cough lozenges. Our clothes will be steamed after people try them on. People can call in to order gift cards or purchase items that they have seen on Facebook or Instagram which we can deliver locally. We also have new range of all-natural antibacterial products (hand sanitizers, etc) being introduced at Kimaya Kama next week.
Our store hours are Tuesday – Friday 11am to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm, Sunday & Monday-closed.
The owners of Baker Street Market told Village Green, “[w]e are keeping the doors literally open so no one has to touch the handles. We are having people dip their own credit cards and we are not asking them to sign on the iPad. We are wiping down all surfaces with Lysol disinfecting wipes multiple times a day.” They will assess the situation daily, and plan to stay open as long as the SOMSD schools are open.
Don’t forget they have delicious options to keep us happy while we wait out coronavirus. “We have lots of fresh food every day as well as shelf-stable items like pasta, beans, tuna, etc., and lots of things to keep you happy in the event we all need to hunker down…chocolate, ice cream, snacks, candy. Sounds like the grocery stores are emptying out!”
At Jackie & Son, they are making two major changes to the way they do business. They say there will be “no dining in: until further notice, there will be NO dining in, we will only offer takeout options.” Also, they will be cashless, and will only accept credit card payments. Jackie & Son management suggests, “your best bet is to order online at JACKIEANDSON.COM AND PICKUP IN STORE. It’s hassle free and you pay online so all you have to do is pickup your food in store and you’re all set!”