Well that was an interesting first half of the year! Holy smokes. The human capacity to adapt is kind of amazing but it sure has been tested!
I have learned a lot these past several months. And I have been reminded of things I knew but of which I perhaps haven’t had the right level of awareness recently.
A few observations, in no particular order.
1. We have a wonderful, dedicated, talented, resourceful team at both stores and in our kitchen.
2. Our customers are especially eager to support us and care deeply about whether we are here or not. So many gracious inquiries asking if we are ok.
3. Watching too many episodes of Ozark in a row is a hazard to my mental health. But I can’t stop.
4. There’s nothing like a crisis to make people pull together: our fellow business owners/leaders, the Village of Glen Ellyn, the Alliance of Downtown Glen Ellyn, the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce – everyone has literally done everything they possibly can to help each other, find creative solutions, not get hung up on the rules and just generally be there for us.
5. Zoom was fun for about 10 minutes. But it did keep us connected.
6. We should have thought of Virtual Wine and Cheese Tastings years ago! And who knew we had the perfect host right in our midst?
7. Having a wonderful family is even more wonderful in times of stress.
8. My 80 year old dad (son of Marcel) made an excellent delivery driver.
9. Thank goodness for being able to be outdoors and for having some absolutely lovely weather this month.
10. While things are getting closer to being back to normal, it’s going to be awhile before we are all the way there.
Here’s what normal looks like for us right now:
• At both Marcel’s and Marché, we ask that you wear a mask and we will do the same. We’ve got capacity limits that aim to keep people spread out while in the stores. We have entrance and exit doors designated so people aren’t trying to push through the same door.
• We currently have no inside seating at Marché because, although it is permitted by the Phase 4 guidelines, there just isn’t enough room to have people seated and also have customers in the store.
• All food and drink served outside at Marché is in disposable containers so dirty dishes never come back into the store.
• Marché Party and All Occasion Boards are delivered either deconstructed or on non-returnable boards (for a small additional fee) so we aren’t exchanging the cherry wood boards back and forth.
• The most significant part of our business that has not been reopened is the Marcel’s kitchen. While we have had a handful of private events (and some in home events), our classes have been suspended since the middle of March. We are very excited to be resuming in person classes on Thursday, July 9th and we have a full slate of offerings on the calendar through September. You can check them all out here.
• A couple of things to know about the parameters for our classes for July and August (we will evaluate September as it gets closer);
Everyone (students, chef, staff) will be required to wear a mask during class except when eating or drinking.
Class size will be limited to 8 people per class (with a couple of exceptions for classes that already have registration that exceeds that number).
Protocols will continue to be in place for food preparation and handling, dish and waste management, sanitation of frequently touched materials and surfaces, and customer interaction to keep everyone as safe as possible.
We hope we will see you back in our kitchen very, very soon. And if you want to put together an event just for your group, whether at your place or ours, just drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve still got a long road of recovery ahead of us but thanks to our team and our customers, we are going to be fine. I deeply appreciate every single person’s contribution to the ongoing success of Marcel’s, Marché, and Maison.