With the coronavirus outbreak coming to Whidbey Island, several entrepreneurs have been looking for ways to reach customers from their homes.
Restaurants, wineries, florists and even pet stores have taken to delivering products.
Whidbey Doughnuts owner Scott Parks believes his cafe to be the first South Whidbey restaurant venturing into delivery service. Launched on Wednesday, orders can now be placed online through the website for delivery to Freeland, Langley and Clinton residences.
Parks said in an email that he got the idea from talking about delivery service with a coworker in the Cash Store at Bayview Corner, where Whidbey Doughnuts is located.
“It set off a spark that I haven’t thought about since we opened,” he said. “We initially considered delivering back at the end of 2017, but it didn’t seem viable.”
There is no required minimum purchase, just a $10 flat rate for delivery, which helps cover gas, car insurance and driver wages.
During a time when business has historically picked up with warmer weather on the way, Parks said he has noticed a decrease in sales since advice from health officials has kept more people homebound.
“We’re not sure if offering delivery will be the answer to keeping things humming at the usual spring pace, but it seems like a good time to test the waters,” he said.
Besides doughnuts, the cafe also has full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.
Other restaurants, such as the Braeburn in Langley and Sprinklz in Langley and Clinton, have been encouraging curbside pick-up orders. Grocery stores like the Star Store and the Goose are currently considering doing the same.
And other kinds of business are catching on, too.
Critters and Company Pet Center in Clinton has recently taken steps to promote their delivery service, which previously only delivered to a select number of customers once a week.
Now, the pet store is extending delivery to every day and for all customers.
Owner Deborah Wilkie said people have mostly been stocking up on dog food and cat litter, and usually more than just one bag.
If her store has an item in stock, it will be delivered the same day it was ordered. Delivery is free of charge.
“We’ll deliver anything. We would even deliver animals,” Wilkie said with a laugh. “It’s probably better they would meet them, but we would deliver them.”
People can call 360-341-1456 or email email@example.com to place an order for delivery.
“I think it will be a good thing to help out the community,” Wilkie said, adding that she plans to continue the delivery service even after the coronavirus outbreak clears up.
“We all kind of have to stick together through this thing.”
Comforts of Whidbey is delivering wine through their website, where orders can be placed. The winery is currently offering special of $15 shipping for three to 12 bottles of wine.