By Mike Kinney
Yao Saechao, store manager at Richmond Blueprint & Lithograph, sported a large smile while pointing at the “Open” sign in front of his shop at 2558 Macdonald Ave. While business has been “really slow,” Saechao was happy to be able to operate — even if it’s only curbside service.
Starting Tuesday, Contra Costa County officials updated its COVID-19 health order to allow “non-essential” retail stores to resume operations but only for outdoor pickups of orders.
Don’t want to wait for the books you ordered to be delivered? You can now pick them up at the El Cerrito Barnes and Nobles store. While customers cannot enter the store, they can order items online and then pick them up outside the store from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“If we have their order in stock…we send them an email confirmation that it is ready to be picked at the El Cerrito store,” the staff member told us, adding that customers can call prior to picking up and a team member wearing masks and gloves will bring their products to their car.
Michaels Arts and Crafts in Pinole is offering a similar service, with customers able to go online to Michaels.com to place an order. They are then given a number to call for the Pinole store so that employees can be ready to bring their order to their vehicle.
Some local small businesses are offering similar services, but with creative twists. For example, the Mom & Pop Art Shop at 24 W Richmond Ave. in Point Richmond is directing customers to order from its online shop here. The business, which curates unique gifts made by local artists, from artwork to art supplies, toys and apparel, is offering both curbside pickup and local delivery.
In addition, the store co-owned by Jacinto ‘Pop” Castillo and his wife Kelly ‘ Mom’ Nicolaisen is offering private shopping appointments for customers Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Customers must be masked and gloved and will have “15 minutes to shop till you drop,” according to the business. To make an appointment, visit their website here.
“We have been adjusting to the Covid-19 crisis, it has affected us and we have stumbled a bit,” Castillo said. “But we definitely see a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Know about a local business that has reopened for curbside service and could use some publicity? Please let us know in the comments!