Two Local Women Owned Businesses Thrive Through Pandemic Using Creativity and Innovation

Community

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — More than half of women owned businesses couldn’t survive longer than 3 months if the current economic difficulties continue according to a survey by energize Colorado, but that’s not the case for Be Sweet Cafe and Bakeshop and the Country Elegance Florist. Both are women owned businesses in Grand Junction. And both are doing relatively well, despite the pandemic.

“Other than the masks and extra cleaning, it’s business as usual for us,” says Sandi Reynolds the owner of Country Elegance Florist. As a woman who owns a business that employees several women, Reynolds has found it difficult to find a work life balance for herself and her employees through the pandemic. This is because when children are forced to stay home due to Covid-like symptoms or possible Covid exposure, mothers are the ones who tend to stay home with the child.

“We’ve had a hard time with kids having to stay home when they just had a sniffle. We had one parent that has a child that has asthma so he always has a sniffle and he had to stay home and continually get a Covid test,” says Reynolds.

Despite some of these issues that disproportionately affect women, Reynolds says having a good website and delivery system in place even before the pandemic has helped her business keep going.

“We were already during curbside pick up, we were already doing online orders, So I think we were already set for something like this,” she says.

The manager of Be Sweet cafe says she believes creativity and innovation have kept the cafe afloat.

“We offer our curbside delivery,” says Shanece D’Annibale. “We’ve done a lot of little at home kits. Whenever this all started we did meal packages for people since they weren’t comfortable going out.”

And last but not least, both businesses are certified by the Mesa County 5-Star Program allowing them to stay open through most of the pandemic.

“We have adapted just in any way possible that we can, because everyone has been supportive of us, so we still want to be able to be open everyday and support our community as well,” says D’Annibale.

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