Nevada County restaurants offer curb-side pickup, delivery options
As concerns over a possible COVID-19 outbreak grow, more and more local businesses are opting to either close temporarily or restrict offerings for pickup or delivery.
That movement accelerated Monday after the state released recommendations to close in-store dining at restaurants and encourage pick-up and delivery options.
Interactive map created by Digital Engagement Editor Samantha Sullivan.
“It’s a scary situation and we’re doing whatever we can to keep the economy active,” said Cathy Whittlesey of the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, who started prepping a list Tuesday.
Local resident Sheila Cameron launched a Facebook page to act as a clearinghouse for information, Virtual Shop & Support Local — Nevada County, CA. A member of the group, Meri Mohr, has started an open source Google document to keep track of which restaurants locally are offering food to go, via pickup or delivery.
“It is a rapidly changing situation,” Cameron said. “Our community is so vibrant and ready to jump in and help. .. I (wanted) to try to harness that energy.”
The response to the Facebook group has been positive, with almost 1,400 members as of Wednesday afternoon.
“We want to elevate businesses that are doing the right thing and making sure they get our support,” Cameron said. “We’re really encouraging people to buy gift cards, to shore people up. For businesses that you love, do online gift cards if you can. … I’m seeing a real hands-on-deck spirit, and that’s encouraging.”
For Maria’s Mexican Restaurant General Manager Gina Sidebottom, the effort to stay open via to-go orders is about more than simple economic survival.
“We’re open for the community,” she said. “We’re not making money.”
Maria’s closed its dining room Tuesday, Sidebottom said, adding, “We are getting to-go business, and people getting gift cards, which is great.”
The regular menu is available for to-go orders and Maria’s also is offering “take-and-bake” options for customers to buy and either reheat immediately or freeze for a later date. Those options include enchiladas, chile relleno, tamales, burritos and chicken salads, with beans, rice, chips and salsa included.
Supermarket chains like Raley’s already offer grocery pick-up services. But shoppers who want to keep it super-local can call Tyler Szura at 530-277-5964 and arrange for his AbleCarts service at Grass Valley’s SPD market.
“Our delivery service has picked up exponentially,” Szura said, adding that for the time being his employees, who all have disabilities, are working from home. “I’m the one doing deliveries right now, but I do have volunteers offering to help out.”
Typically, Szura said, his service has been able to fulfill orders within two to three hours.
“We have had to adapt,” he said. “It’s about seeing what works for them and what works for us.”
Nevada City’s Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co. co-owner Shana Maziarz is thinking outside the box in an effort to remain viable.
“We are really, really trying to stay open,” Maziarz said. “Our job is to feed people. We exist to feed the community. We employ over 40 people and we’re doing our very best to stay open. We’re being really innovative, trying to figure out in the moment how to respond to this (crisis) in a way that is safe and takes care of the community.”
For now, that means offering takeout with curb-side pickup. Three Forks is also trying out delivery service of cold food to start.
“We want to see how it goes,” Maziarz said. “We’ll offer salads, bakery items, some sandwiches.”
Takeout options currently include cold soup that is ready to be reheated as well as a ”handful” of grocery items like eggs, salad mix and freshly roasted coffee from local vendors. Other possibilities include take-and-bake pot pies or quiche.
“People don’t necessarily know how to cook (healthy),” Maziarz said. “This is a service, to provide people with healthy food. It’s real medicine, good organic food. We want people to be eating well and taking care of their bodies.”
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at email@example.com.
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