Julie Quattrin

Julie Quattrin is shown in front of her Old Town Elk Grove business, Flowers by Fairytales, on May 8.  Floral shops are among the businesses that were allowed to reopen that day, after nearly two months of being governmentally required to close due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Quattrin said that with the shop’s many Mother’s Day orders, her first day back at work was her busiest workday in nine years.

Several Elk Grove businesses reopened on May 8 after the state allowed more California stores to have curbside pickup services. Customers can preorder merchandise and have an employee hand them their purchases outside the store.  

Gov. Gavin Newsom last week announced that the state was moving into the second phase of California’s “roadmap” plan for gradually reopening parts of its economy that have been shut down in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

On May 12, the state approved seven counties to move further into the second phase and allow restaurants to reopen their dining rooms as well as business offices to reopen to the public. These counties, including El Dorado and Placer, had low numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths over the past two months.

Their county health departments also informed the state they have adequate medical resources to hospitalize COVID-19 patients, and they will have enough contact tracers to investigate coronavirus infections.

Sacramento County did not gain state approval to move far into phase two. Local restaurants are still only allowed to offer pickup and delivery services, and their dining rooms have to be closed.

Sacramento County’s stay-at-home order for residents is scheduled to expire on May 22, and county public health officials may extend the order.

The Citizen this week contacted a few of the Elk Grove businesses that were allowed to reopen, but under conditions that call for social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Dave Hipskind, owner of The Red Door, an “antique, vintage & more” store in Old Town Elk Grove, said that while his door remains closed to the public, he is currently offering no-contact curbside pickups and live online sales.

“We do accept orders over the phone and emails, and we fill those orders and do curbside pickups, and then we’ve been having once-a-week live Facebook sales, where we have featured items that we talk about and show,” he said.

He added that the items featured on this Facebook “watch party” are usually offered at discounted prices.

These online sales, which run about two hours, include close-up views of items and opportunities for customers to ask questions and receive responses regarding those items.

Hipskind said that his store’s next watch party on Facebook will take place on Saturday, May 16, from 1-3 p.m.

Regarding curbside pickups, Hipskind said that purchased items will be available for pickup at the back of his store.

“The pickup process is very simple,” he said. “When a customer arrives at the pickup door and lets us know they are here, we set their purchase on the step for them to pick up,” he said.

Those who prefer to have items from The Red Door shipped to them can make arrangements with Hipskind. The cost for shipping purchased items from the store ranges from $9 to $15.

Julie Quattrin, owner of the Old Town business, Flowers by Fairytales, told the Citizen that her business’s reopening was very timely, since that opening was held two days before Mother’s Day.

“This was the best holiday we’ve ever had in nine years,” she said. “It was overwhelming. I think all flower shops experienced the wholesalers that provide the flowers to the flower shops are also empty.

“Nobody really expected it to be so wonderful, and we’re still filling Mother’s Day orders. We’re so super, super busy. We turned down a lot of work, and I’m really grateful that people that did order for me locally were looking to support small businesses.”

Quattrin projected that local flower shops will be “scrambling for flowers” for about two more weeks.

“We have to substitute a lot of flowers, because our growers are out of a lot of stuff,” she said.

Quattrin said that her business practices social distancing, and that most orders for her flowers are taken by phone or by email.

“It’s all been really safe and really good and everybody seems happy and in a good mood,” she said.

Another Elk Grove business, Music Go Round, recently resumed business by offering curbside buying, selling and trading of quality used music equipment.

Paul Telford opened his business at East Stockton Boulevard in 2018.

With Sacramento County’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order, Telford continued to pay his employees as they stayed at home, while he filled online orders to keep his store afloat.

Telford spoke about the reopening of his store through curbside business.

“While we’re currently open for pickups and drop-offs, we’re looking forward to getting back to serving our customers in a full capacity,” he said. “Our Elk Grove and Sacramento community has really embraced us since we opened and we can’t wait to see all our regulars again soon.”