In a time of economic uncertainty, some business owners and community members look to bring some hope to Sequim’s businesses.
For Sequim-native Lacey Lovell, the new owner of Sofie’s Florist, 359 W. Washington St., she just wanted to share some good cheer by delivering free bouquets to various downtown Sequim businesses.
“I just felt it was important that the cheer and love doesn’t go to waste,” Lovell said.
Sofie’s hasn’t seen a huge hit from the impact of closures, cancellations and quarantines due to COVID-19, she said, but the flowers continue to come whether they sell or not.
Lovell, a 2007 Sequim High grad, took over the business on Feb. 1, just in time for Valentine’s Day — the business’ second busiest day of the year, after Mother’s Day.
“There’s nothing like hitting the ground running,” she said.
Last Friday, some locals saw the flowers in other stores and came to support her shop, too.
“It’s been nice to have locals make a point of coming here specifically,” Lovell said.
“I make a point of shopping local. It’s my way of life. I believe in small businesses. They are the ones who support your community, your sports and arts. They support the things you believe in.”
Sofie’s continues to take orders by phone, 360-683-7949, and online, sofiesfloral.com, for pickup or delivery from Monday-Saturday.
“We’ll knock and run,” Lovell said.
As restaurants close their dine-in space, some are continue to offer delivery and/or takeout options.
To promote this, online campaigns were started to encourage people to eat local, including #SequimStrong and #ChooseLocalSequim.
James Castell, managing partner at Castell Insurance, said he and friends started #SequimStrong on Facebook and Instagram to raise awareness that local mom and pop businesses are still open and need support.
“If we don’t unite during this as a community, there will be several businesses that don’t reopen,” he said.
Participants will be entered to win multiple gift cards from local businesses.
Another online group, Choose Local Sequim, is doing similar incentives on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter under #chooselocalsequim.
Castell said the efforts all help local businesses and purchasing gift cards helps businesses during slow times.
“If you buy gift cards now, you can use them in May, June or whenever,” he said.
“To me, the gift card is an easy way to say we’re going to help you.”
Susan Baritelle, owner of Dungeness Kids Co., 163 W. Washington St., said she and other businesses aren’t changing their hours and are happy to do orders via phone, 360-582-1700, or on Facebook.
Nonprofits like the Olympic Medical Center Foundation (OMCF), urges its volunteers and donors to support local businesses, too.
“(Restaurants) and other local establishments have given back to the community by supporting many non-profits and now it’s time for us to give back to them,” said OMCF Executive Director Bruce Skinner.
Skinner said local businesses provide hundreds of gift cards and other items annually to more than 50 auctions across the area to help raise several million dollars in support for community non-profits.
“Now is also an important time to support your favorite charity,” OMCF President Mary Hebert said. “The OMC Foundation supports Olympic Medical Center, and we’re going to need OMC more than ever in the weeks and months ahead.”
Outside the box
With many supplies like toilet paper, soaps and hand sanitizer being purchased within minutes of being stocked on shelves, some people are exploring their local options.
Some local farmers, such as Marcella Stachurski, co-owner of Cedarbrook Lavender & Herb Farm, 120 W. Washington St., said people have been drawn to their lavender hand sanitizer and soaps.
CDC guidelines say alcohol-based hand sanitizers should be at least 60 percent alcohol to kill the most germs, and Stachurski said their hand sanitizer does have some alcohol in it along with natural ingredients that she feels could help make up some of the difference.
“I’m upfront with people about the alcohol levels, but customers don’t seem to mind,” she said.
The hand sanitizer is made in store, Stachurski said, with more supplies on the way.
She, like others, offers call-in orders, 360-683-7733 and online at cedarbrooklavender.com with options to ship or store pickup (with no fee).
Check with local lavender farms, like B&B Lavender Farm at 360-504-2585 or bbfamilyfarm.com about their sanitizing product availability. Also see lavenderfestival.com and sequimlavender.org for a full list of Sequim area farms.
In Carlsborg, Sara Shearer, owner of Clear Water Bidets, is seeing an influx of orders for her products that don’t require toilet paper.
“We have seen such an influx of business that we have stopped advertising online even on Google,” she said.
Demand for bidets has tripled, Shearer said.
“For the first time, we may be running out stock of certain things,” she said.
Despite the rush, the workload has been manageable, Shearer said. Staff have closed the office to mitigate exposure, but people can call and schedule pickup times.
“We want to keep taking care of people locally,” she said.
For more information, call 360-565-5418 or visit clearwaterbidets.com.
Chamber offers courtesy memberships
Staff with the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce announced last week courtesy memberships to the local business community for a limited time to further opportunities to connect during increased guidelines for COVID-19.
Courtesy Memberships include:
• Access to the Chamber’s Member Information Center
• Contact information for local businesses and leadership
• Access to posting “Hot Deals” on the Chamber Website
• Weekly updates from Chamber Staff on “What’s Happening in Sequim”
Those eligible include:
• Businesses based or serving 98382 and adjacent zip codes
• Non-profit organizations serving a broad segment of the Clallam County community
• Governmental entities on the Olympic Peninsula
To request a Courtesy Membership, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-316-1549.
For information on memberships, visit SequimChamber.com or contact email@example.com.
In order to keep serving their customers during a time when their dining rooms are closed, numerous local restaurants are turning to curbside takeout service to maintain their operations.
Area restaurants that have already indicated that they are offering curbside service or other forms of takeout include:
• Jose’s Famous Salsa
• Tedesco’s Italian Fresh
• The Oak Table Café
• Koto Teriyaki & Sushi
• Mariner Café
• Pacific Pantry
• Rainshadow Cafe & Coffee
• Hurricane Coffee Company
• Old Mill Café
• Dockside Grill
• Black Bear Diner
• Galare Thai
• Sawadee Thai Cuisine
• Westside Pizza
• Sequim Kabob House
• Hi-Way 101 Diner
This list will be updated online as more restaurants and other eateries indicate that they will be offering curbside service. Many of these eateries will be offering different forms of delivery service as well. Contact them for more information, or reach out to your other favorite dining spots if they’re not on this list to ask about their plans.
There is also one food delivery service available in Sequim as of press time, DoorDash (www.doordash.com). They partner with several local restaurants and coffee shops to bring their food to your door.
Staff at Safeway and QFC have also both said that Sequim area residents can use a service called Instacart (www.instacart.com) to order groceries remotely and have them delivered, though representatives from both stores cautioned that the local Instacart employees are “very busy” right now and their deliveries will likely take longer than normal.
The Shell station in Carlsborg indicated in a Facebook post on March 16 that they will be offering drive-through grocery service at their Blimpies and coffee window for any products except alcohol sales, and that the Blimpies sandwich shop in their store will remain open as well.