GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) -- "It's a bit surprising," Celeste Parins, co-owner of Voyageurs Sourdough & Bakehouse said. "All of a sudden you think you've got something going and then boom, it changes."
Parins and her partner Ben Cadman opened their small business in the heart of Green Bay's Broadway District, just two weeks before Governor Evers implemented Wisconsin's Safer at Home order to fight the spread of coronavirus.
"We had one full week with operations as had planned and the visions we had set for ourselves of having a buzzing cafe and lots of people in here at full tables," Parins said. "The second week we did takeout only, and then the third week we complete closed our doors, and then shifted to curbside pickup and home delivery four days a week."
As a couple that have lived in multiple countries together, Parins says change comes naturally to her and co-owner Cadman, so they were prepared to adapt to fluid circumstances.
"We're very blessed that the type of product that we have, the operational logistics we had in place, have allowed us to stay open," Parins said. "And I know not all businesses have that, so it gives us the space to be able to reopen slowly."
Voyageurs has had a loyal customer base from the start, including one customer that purchases at least eight of their Community Loaves weekly to be donated to local food pantries. They've reached new customers through their social media pages that Parins runs.
The owners now have a permit for outdoor seating, and plan to have a meeting with their small team next week to discuss plans, ideas and concerns to fully reopen.
"We constantly talk about them feeling safe and secure is really important to us as a business," Parins said. "The moment someone doesn't feel safe then that's not a healthy work environment for anyone."