Many Ottawa businesses, including cinemas, restaurants and retail stores opened their doors on February 16th for the first time since the province instituted its 28-day lockdown.
One small business that was happy to open to the public again was The Grand Ol’ Meat Company in Place d’Orléans Shopping Centre in the east end of Ottawa.
The company sells all kinds of meat like salami & pepperettes, with flavours like Canadian maple and Montreal smoked meat and etc.
“We keep our workplace very optimistic and take care of each other. We’re basically one big family,” says Sheaylenn Parks, one of the employees at the store.
Parks worked on the first day of the city re-opening. However, with over 20 centimetres of snow in Ottawa, the store wasn’t as busy as she expected.
“It was more quiet than usual yesterday and during lockdown as well, but we’re definitely making it through. Reopening was very stressful but everyone was happy to be back,” says Parks.
During the lockdown, it was hard to keep regular hours since the mall was closed and fewer orders were being placed. “Customer-wise, people weren’t really comfortable coming in because of the lockdown so it’s been pretty slow,” says Parks.
Like many businesses, The Grand Ol’ Meat Company didn’t know how much stock to order because they were unsure how quickly customers would return after the lockdown.
“Everyone was super excited to see each other and get back into the workflow. Things are definitely a lot better. There’s more people in the mall and lots of customers kept saying how happy they were to see us open again,” says Parks.
Since Ottawa is in the Orange stage of COVID-19 protective measures, the Grand Ol’ Meat is still very cautious for their staff as well as their regular costumers.
“We clean and sanitize everything and make sure everyone has their mask on when in the store, and wipe everything down after a customer touches something and leaves, keeping a safe distance as usual,” says Parks.
You can stay up to date with what the company is doing via their Facebook page.