(Publisher’s note: The economic effects of Covid 19 are being felt by businesses in Chelsea. Chelsea Update is talking to individual business owners in the area to see how they are coping. How can we help your business or non-profit? Please email [email protected] and let us help you tell your story. )
By Lisa Carolin
For some businesses, Covid 19 has created an increase in demand.
Agricole Farm Stop, located in the Mack Building at the corner of Main Street and Jackson Street in downtown Chelsea, is one of those businesses, and things have gotten busier and busier since Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency in mid-March.
“We are blown away by the support and appreciation of the customers,” said Abby Hurst, one of Agricole’s founders. “As a small and relatively new retail business, we weren’t equipped to transition to zero contact transactions and online ordering overnight, so it has been a gradual progression for us. We have tried to approach the ever changing Covid-19 landscape by focusing on the safety of our staff and customers while continuing to provide a critical outlet for local farmers.”
Hurst says Agricole’s average daily sales have doubled over the last month and that staples such as milk, eggs, bread, flour, and meat are “flying off our shelves.” Deliveries of new season produce like lettuces, kale, and radishes are starting to arrive.
“Local food is really going to shine in this challenging time,” said Hurst. “We have brought on new vendors to increase our supply and worked with our existing farmers and artisans to focus on the most frequently purchased items.”
She says that Agricole is looking for more part-time farmers and is continuing to accept applications on its website.
“We hope our partners and stakeholders see the commitment and passion of our staff during this unusual time,” said Hurst. “Our staff is dedicated to the mission of growing the local food economy and serving our community. They are finding new and creative ways to rise to the occasion and let local food shine.”
As a result of Covid 19, Agricole reduced its store hours, closed its community space, and has limited the number of customers that can be in the store at one time.
However, the store has been processing a lot of telephone and email orders and has struggled to keep up with the growing demand.
To make an order, click here.