By SARAH SHMERLING and LILY TINOCO
Part of what makes Pacific Palisades so special are its unique businesses, and with COVID-19 forcing local owners to adapt, several shops shared what they are doing to comply with citywide rules while continuing to operate.
“Staying open through the pandemic,” Collar & Leash Palisades Owner Jose Guerra said, “our customers are very grateful.”
Guerra said it has been difficult in terms of keeping everyone employed, but that it was a priority for him. The store, located on Palisades Drive in The Highlands, has adjusted its hours to close slightly earlier, as Guerra found that after the sun goes down, most customers are home and staying there.
“We’ve taken a hard look at what our practices are,” Guerra said, adding that the store now has a sanitation station placed at the entrance. He is also encouraging more customers to shop online, with the option to pick up curbside or have items delivered—a service that was launched prior to the pandemic, but is more heavily relied on now.
In the heart of the Village, the yogurt shoppe remains a beloved spot for a sweet treat, with owner Adam Wolfson sharing that his team is glad to serve the community through this tough time at both the Palisades and Brentwood locations and offer a bit of respite.
“We’re doing the best we possibly can,” Wolfson said, explaining that the once-self-serve spot now has the employees assembling the yogurt and toppings.
Wolfson is also working closely with his employees to ensure they are comfortable with their shifts and time they are in the store, giving them the option to take time off work entirely or come in to clean after hours if they prefer to not interact with customers at this time.
“We’re a comfort food and right now, people need comfort,” Wolfson said. “We’re looking forward to when we get to the other side of this.”
The yogurt shoppe has also adjusted its hours, but continues to offer pickup and delivery options.
Starting Friday, April 24, the shoppe, which has already been giving treats to Los Angeles Fire Department and beyond, will launch First Responder Fridays—a chance for employees at places like Gelson’s and Vons to get a six-ounce cup for free.
Situated on Via De La Paz, The Sew Chateau typically offers “sew-centric” activities, including sewing classes, camps and parties. Owner Shane LaLonde commented to the Palisadian-Post about how business for them flipped in a matter of weeks.
“We went from zero income to hearing the needs of our community and taking hundreds of orders of masks and mask-making kits,” LaLonde said. “While I would have loved to donate my services, I also wanted to keep my shop in business and began to charge $8 a mask and letting my fellow Palisadians know that I appreciate their support … to help keep our family-owned business open during this unprecedented time.”
LaLonde added that there have been no customers in-shop, the business is practicing a zero-contact pickup system for crafting kits, sewing machines, fabric and more.
The Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce, aiming to support local businesses, has also shifted its mixer events in a virtual direction. Chairperson Sarah Knauer said that each Thursday at 3 p.m., the organization will host either a networking event or a speaker.
Knauer shared that the Chamber is “educating our members about best practices, advertising the businesses that are operating, how they are operating, and encouraging our membership and community to patronize those businesses.”
The Palisadian-Post offers an updated list of local business hours available at palipost.com/palisades-store-hours.
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