As we adjust to the reality of physical distancing and social isolation, the companies we’ve come to rely on have had to adjust to us, moving quickly to offer deliveries and curbside pickups.
In a matter of weeks, we saw small businesses pivot to offering online programming, e-commerce, and curbside deliveries.
To show support for small businesses that have been hit the hardest by the shutdowns, here are a few companies that have switched to delivery or curbside pickups in order to continue making money while staying in touch with customers.
Instead of completely shutting down, the independent bookstore with three locations in Toronto switched to taking phone orders and providing delivery and curbside pickups. The process is simple. Call Type books, order the book you want, and arrange for a delivery or pick it up the same day outside the book store.
Similarly, Moonbeam books, which stocks a large quantity of kid and teen books, is doing next day deliveries and porch/mailbox dropoffs within the local area.
After Color Lab in Rosedale closed temporarily, it noticed that customers were getting increasingly worried about their hair maintenance. Colour decided to start delivering custom hair kits to its customers. This proved to be such a hit that they were inundated with orders within 24 hours of launching. There are two options for kits: Colour Kit: Single Application and Colour Kit: Multiple Applications. For new clients, Colour is offering complimentary virtual consultations in order to determine custom colour.
While physical stores remain open (with new distancing rules and safety measures in place), Village Juiceiry has added a next day delivery service online with free delivery for orders over $50. You can fill up on any of the immune-boosting juices and it will be dropped off to your door or concierge by the next day.
Spin rental bikes
Gyms had to pivot quickly after being one of the first businesses to close. Within days, most gyms had switched to IG Live workouts or online classes to keep their communities engaged. But, they still need to make revenue which is why some gyms like Spinco are offering home bike rentals including shoes. For $150- $250 a month you get the bike and a new on-demand streaming service with up to 10 live classes a day. Toronto’s other popular spin studios, 6ix Cycle and Ride are also offering rentals but currently have a waitlist.
While our local coffee stores may be closed, our need for caffeine remains strong. Multiple local coffee stores around the city are now offering delivery and no contact drop offs with online orders. Here is just a sample of Toronto’s indie coffee shops that are accepting orders:
Golden Gecko Coffee, Goldstruck Coffee, Rooster, Pilot Coffee, Strange Love, Hula Girl, Cafe Landwer, Mast Coffee Bar
Tre Mari Bakery has been operating for 50 years, and is putting together food care packages for one person, two and families. The care packages include pantry staples and ready-to-eat food like lasagna and cannoli.
Earth and City makes delightful plant-based cookies, macarons, and bread. They can typically be found farmer’s markets, coffee stores and grocery stores, but for now, Earth and City has opened a new online store.
Too many of us love our cookies. Girl Gang Goodies was set up for delivery before Coronavirus, but as a one-woman show, Founder Morgan Lunn decided to shut down her operations as a precaution. Then, the government deemed groceries and restaurants an essential service,as did Morgan’s loyal customers who demanded their Girl Gang Goodies. GG is back in operation but with higher precautions. Morgan bakes alone and delivers all the orders herself to reduce exposure.
A modern convenience store, Coco Market is offering free curbside pickup, local deliveries within 5km of the store or shop through their newly implemented Coco Market Online.
The natural beauty and lifestyle shop, Health Hut is the perfect place to get your self-care needs during social isolation. You can shop their selection of candles, body oils, books, and natural cleaning products online or by phone and get free delivery with orders over $50.
Sure, you may not need to smell nice because you’re not going anywhere, but putting together perfume and essential oils is a great way to ease anxiety and find something creative to do.
LOHN makes non-toxic coconut and soy based candles right here in Toronto. They’re hosting a Natural Perfume Making workshop via Zoom, showing you the art and science of smelling and blending plant-based oils. The perfume kit comes with essential oil samples, fragrance strips, glass rollerball, and coconut oil.