Local Businesses React To First “Open” Weekend

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Delaware County was part of the half of the state cleared to begin a slow, phased-in reopening, and the overall assessment of how it went appears to be positive.

In Franklin, two home décor shops were open. Mercantile on Main, a country-themed furniture and décor shop, was open for the first time. Kabinett and Kammer, an antique and décor building next to Bea’s at 422 market, lined up inventory on the sidewalk outside.

Chris Mignier, owner, with his wife, Leslie, of the Green Thumb in Delhi, said everything went “very well.”

“We had lots of people call in advance to see if we were open. People waited outside and everyone wore masks, except for a few people.”

He said he has a sign in front of the store and greenhouse requiring masks, but he’s counting on people to police themselves.

The Delhi location is a new one for them. They sold their Hamden location in March and Mignier said “We’re not a factory operation anymore like we were in Hamden.”

But they’re busy. He said they’ve had “tremendous” sales of vegetables.

“We’re just trying to keep our heads above water on that,” he said. “And we’re in our third restocking of seeds.”

Mignier said because Green Thumb sells vegetables and seeds, it was considered one of the state’s essential businesses. 

“But there’s definitely a lot more traffic now.”

Andrea Sanders, owner of The Stone House home décor shop in Delhi, said this weekend was busy for her, too.

“We are officially closed until May anyway,” she said, “but I’ve done some Facetime sessions with clients.”

On Friday, she opened the tiny shop but put a chain across the door, handing out gloves, requiring masks, and only allowing one person at a time inside.

“People are desperate to shop,” she said. “They were well behaved, they followed the rules.”

Her husband is the owner of Clark Sanders Design, a construction company currently building a straw bale house in the village of Treadwell.

He said it’s “not so easy” to find PPE for the workers on his site, but he’s found it online.

“In construction, it gets pretty hot when you’re wearing a mask. And then your glasses fog up.”

He said gloves aren’t practical when his crew is operating machinery, and sometimes social distancing is impossible, particularly on machinery that requires two people to operate.

“It’s probably going to be another month before we’re up to speed,” Sanders said. “We have to train ourselves how to behave. We’re kind of in-process, but we’re not a hundred percent comfortable yet.”

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