Some Jax Restaurants Pivot Into Grocery Sales While Dining Rooms Are Closed
As the COVID-19 shutdown continues, restaurants have had to adapt to keep their business running.
One of the ways some eateries have pivoted , especially fast-casual ones, is by selling a small selection of groceries to their customers. That’s in addition to switching to take out only.
“When this started, I sort of had an ethical dilemma of whether I still wanted employees to have to come into work or whether we would be furthering the spread of the virus ... It felt like if I was able to offer local producers another outlet for their produce, that maybe, they weren't able to sell to the restaurants right now, and if I could give folks a way to get groceries and not go through the anxiety of visiting the grocery store, that sort of gave us a way to keep coming to work - to work - and a way to support local farms.”
Community Loaves is selling dairy, eggs and fresh produce, all sourced in Florida. However, in order to make space for these new additions, Corey-Disch had to first crowd-source another refrigerator.
“Tons of great customers and friends and family jumped on board … [which] validated the decision to sell produce,” she shared.
Buying groceries at a restaurant allows patrons to avoid the crowds of a grocery store and support local businesses - both the producers and the restaurants themselves - through this difficult time.
Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage
A number of other locally-owned businesses are following a similar model to Community Loaves, selling produce and grocery items in addition to their menu items. They include:
- Southern Roots in Riverside and Atlantic Beach is selling produce, vegan cheese and spreads.
- Vagabond Coffee in Murray Hill is selling milk, eggs, tofu, produce, poultry and meats.
- 1748 Bakehouse in Springfield is selling milk, eggs, produce, granola, and coffee.
- Prati Italia at the Markets at Town Center offers fresh pasta by the quart, spreads, and produce.
- Taverna in San Marco is selling a selection of dry goods, dairy products, produce and other items.
- McFlamingo in Ponte Vedra Beach is selling produce.
Some chains restaurants are also now selling grocery items:
- Maple Street Biscuit Company, which was started in Jacksonville, is selling paper towels, toilet paper, soap, bottled water, chicken and pasta
- Panera Bread has started a grocery service, selling vegetables and milk.