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Saskatoon coffee shop grinding away through COVID-19 pandemic

Saskatoon coffee shop grinding away through COVID-19 pandemic
WATCH: Simply Grounded Coffee Gallery is still staying busy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business has looked a lot different at Simply Grounded Coffee Gallery during the COVID-19 pandemic for owner Carol Reynolds and her staff.

“We’ve had to close our dining area, which is where most of our customers came in and congregated,” Reynolds said. “They appreciated the environment and the atmosphere, and that’s really what we’ve become known for in the 18 months that we’ve been open.”

To retain business, Reynolds had to get creative with how she served food and beverages, emphasizing curbside and delivery options while still allowing for in-store pickups — while remaining physically distanced.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Saskatoon small business directory launches for ‘heart of our community’

However, they weren’t the only changes that came to Simply Grounded, as the menu also saw a slight shift.

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“People want to take home a whole pan so they don’t have to come in and buy a piece at a time,” Reynolds explained. “So I’m baking pans of brownies, pies and confetti squares for people to actually buy the whole pan, take it home to their family, and if they want to say they made it themselves, and brag, then that’s totally fine.”

The biggest hit to the shop came on the employee front, with workers having to be laid off.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Saskatoon businesses being hit hard amid COVID-19 pandemic

“I have been doing all the baking at this location for the last six weeks, myself. And I’m so glad to have my experienced staff come back on board so I can actually take a few hours off here and there to maybe focus on my health,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds recently conducted her first staff meeting in over a month welcoming new and returning employees to Simply Grounded.

“To see Carol again, like, I haven’t seen her in two months,” barista Haley Wilcox said. “So… to see her and to have — catch up… There was so much catching up to do today. It was just so great.”

Days promise to be quite busy for the staff, between new sanitization practices and the steady flow of customers, both new and regular, who are still frequenting the shop.

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“People have really, really focused on shopping local and supporting local businesses,” Reynolds said, “because they know that we employ local people and we donate to local fundraising events and opportunities.”