Ancaster businesses adapt to new business reality

News May 22, 2020 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

As people are trapped in their homes by the coronavirus pandemic, they are looking for some sort of outlet to expend some of their physical energy.

They quickly look to those bikes that have been sitting in the garage or forgotten in the basement, tires flat and chains and gears immovable by age.

It’s a perfect opportunity for Ancaster residents Sean and Allison Green, who operate the Hamilton bicycle franchise Velofix, to take advantage of a transformed business environment.

While he has some regret that his company has seen a bump in business because of the health crisis, Sean sees an opportunity to provide a reliable service to a market that needs it now.

“You’ve got to take advantage of the situation,” he said.

Allison, who said they are entering their fourth year with the business, said people are using “a lot more bikes” and families want to do something with their kids, preferably outside.

She said business has been “up quite a bit” in April compared to last year, even though spring is usually a busy period.

While cycle shops were forced to shut their doors to in-person contact, Sean was able to travel from Georgetown, Stoney Creek and even the Niagara Region responding to customers.

“Unfortunately, the bricks-and-mortar shops are struggling,” he said.

Allison said about 50 per cent of their orders are from Hamilton, while about 40 per cent are from the Halton area, with a few requests from St. Catharines.

Sean was recently working on a Mountain family’s two bikes, getting them ready for their children to ride, inside his van by the side of the road.

He has been receiving calls from seniors to help get their bikes ready for the outdoors; providing spring “tune-ups” and he even had a person call for him to put together a bike that she had ordered online.

“I’m getting a real good response from people,” said Sean. “Cycling is good for a person’s mental health. I’ve heard from parents they just want their kids to start being kids and not stuck in front of a screen all the time.”

Sean says the service is easy to access for the customer: They call or select a date for an appointment online. Sean arrives in his repair van and starts working on the bikes with no contact with the customer. He works with gloves, and the bike gets sanitized when they are returned.

The Greens were looking at adding a second van and a repair person, but then the pandemic started.

“Those plans are on hold,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chrissy Ronalds, operator of Set the Table Kitchen Co., has also adapted to the new pandemic business environment. Ronalds, who also operates The Lunch Lady, which provides nutritious food to schools, had to switch her business to Set The Table Kitchen after schools were shuttered. She partnered with the Ancaster Community Services to provide nutritious food for the organization’s Meals on Wheels and frozen food programs.

Ronalds, who has been in business for about four years, provides up to 140 meals a day out of her 3,000-square-foot Ancaster Business Park location, which she moved into earlier this year from another part of the park. The meals are delivered each day in large, specially designed containers to the various organizations.

“We developed a beneficial program with (Ancaster Community Services) and with the clients,” said Ronalds.

Ronalds has also hooked up with the Hamilton Food Share to provide prepared meals for the organization.

“I enjoy helping people and supporting organizations that assist the community,” she said.

Melanie Barlow, executive director of Ancaster Community Services, praises her new partnership with Ronalds.

“They have done such a great job,” she said. “The seniors love the meals and they are convenient.”

At a time when people, especially vulnerable seniors, are concerned about venturing outside, they need access to fresh, good, healthy food and meals, she said.

Seniors also like the frozen meals because they can store them until they are needed, she said.

The pandemic, though, has forced other Ancaster businesses to quickly adapt to the dramatically different economic landscape. Kari Morrow-Floren, who owns Kari’s of Ancaster on Wilson Street, had to shut her doors, but she still kept an active online presence for her public to shop.

“I was doing some business (during the shutdown),” said Morrow-Floren, who was accepting customers by appointment to her store May 19 when the province allowed retail outlets with a street access to open in Stage 1 of the province’s reopening strategy.

In some cases, if someone knocks on the door, she would allow them to enter, but would still maintain physical distancing protocols.

“I have lovely customers,” said Morrow-Floren, who was wearing a mask at the time.

Ann Adams, owner and operator of Hanley’s of Ancaster, said during the shutdown it was “absolutely terrible. It was difficult.”

But she was open to in-person customers, along with encouraging appointments online at the business’s website at her Wilson Street store on May 19. She said the two-storey building provided enough space for physical distancing.

“Customers have come back,” she said. “It has been great. We have had a steady flow of people.”

Ancaster businesses take advantage and adapt to coronavirus pandemic marketplace

News May 22, 2020 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

As people are trapped in their homes by the coronavirus pandemic, they are looking for some sort of outlet to expend some of their physical energy.

They quickly look to those bikes that have been sitting in the garage or forgotten in the basement, tires flat and chains and gears immovable by age.

It’s a perfect opportunity for Ancaster residents Sean and Allison Green, who operate the Hamilton bicycle franchise Velofix, to take advantage of a transformed business environment.

While he has some regret that his company has seen a bump in business because of the health crisis, Sean sees an opportunity to provide a reliable service to a market that needs it now.

Related Content

“You’ve got to take advantage of the situation,” he said.

Allison, who said they are entering their fourth year with the business, said people are using “a lot more bikes” and families want to do something with their kids, preferably outside.

She said business has been “up quite a bit” in April compared to last year, even though spring is usually a busy period.

While cycle shops were forced to shut their doors to in-person contact, Sean was able to travel from Georgetown, Stoney Creek and even the Niagara Region responding to customers.

“Unfortunately, the bricks-and-mortar shops are struggling,” he said.

Allison said about 50 per cent of their orders are from Hamilton, while about 40 per cent are from the Halton area, with a few requests from St. Catharines.

Sean was recently working on a Mountain family’s two bikes, getting them ready for their children to ride, inside his van by the side of the road.

He has been receiving calls from seniors to help get their bikes ready for the outdoors; providing spring “tune-ups” and he even had a person call for him to put together a bike that she had ordered online.

“I’m getting a real good response from people,” said Sean. “Cycling is good for a person’s mental health. I’ve heard from parents they just want their kids to start being kids and not stuck in front of a screen all the time.”

Sean says the service is easy to access for the customer: They call or select a date for an appointment online. Sean arrives in his repair van and starts working on the bikes with no contact with the customer. He works with gloves, and the bike gets sanitized when they are returned.

The Greens were looking at adding a second van and a repair person, but then the pandemic started.

“Those plans are on hold,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chrissy Ronalds, operator of Set the Table Kitchen Co., has also adapted to the new pandemic business environment. Ronalds, who also operates The Lunch Lady, which provides nutritious food to schools, had to switch her business to Set The Table Kitchen after schools were shuttered. She partnered with the Ancaster Community Services to provide nutritious food for the organization’s Meals on Wheels and frozen food programs.

Ronalds, who has been in business for about four years, provides up to 140 meals a day out of her 3,000-square-foot Ancaster Business Park location, which she moved into earlier this year from another part of the park. The meals are delivered each day in large, specially designed containers to the various organizations.

“We developed a beneficial program with (Ancaster Community Services) and with the clients,” said Ronalds.

Ronalds has also hooked up with the Hamilton Food Share to provide prepared meals for the organization.

“I enjoy helping people and supporting organizations that assist the community,” she said.

Melanie Barlow, executive director of Ancaster Community Services, praises her new partnership with Ronalds.

“They have done such a great job,” she said. “The seniors love the meals and they are convenient.”

At a time when people, especially vulnerable seniors, are concerned about venturing outside, they need access to fresh, good, healthy food and meals, she said.

Seniors also like the frozen meals because they can store them until they are needed, she said.

The pandemic, though, has forced other Ancaster businesses to quickly adapt to the dramatically different economic landscape. Kari Morrow-Floren, who owns Kari’s of Ancaster on Wilson Street, had to shut her doors, but she still kept an active online presence for her public to shop.

“I was doing some business (during the shutdown),” said Morrow-Floren, who was accepting customers by appointment to her store May 19 when the province allowed retail outlets with a street access to open in Stage 1 of the province’s reopening strategy.

In some cases, if someone knocks on the door, she would allow them to enter, but would still maintain physical distancing protocols.

“I have lovely customers,” said Morrow-Floren, who was wearing a mask at the time.

Ann Adams, owner and operator of Hanley’s of Ancaster, said during the shutdown it was “absolutely terrible. It was difficult.”

But she was open to in-person customers, along with encouraging appointments online at the business’s website at her Wilson Street store on May 19. She said the two-storey building provided enough space for physical distancing.

“Customers have come back,” she said. “It has been great. We have had a steady flow of people.”

Ancaster businesses take advantage and adapt to coronavirus pandemic marketplace

News May 22, 2020 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

As people are trapped in their homes by the coronavirus pandemic, they are looking for some sort of outlet to expend some of their physical energy.

They quickly look to those bikes that have been sitting in the garage or forgotten in the basement, tires flat and chains and gears immovable by age.

It’s a perfect opportunity for Ancaster residents Sean and Allison Green, who operate the Hamilton bicycle franchise Velofix, to take advantage of a transformed business environment.

While he has some regret that his company has seen a bump in business because of the health crisis, Sean sees an opportunity to provide a reliable service to a market that needs it now.

Related Content

“You’ve got to take advantage of the situation,” he said.

Allison, who said they are entering their fourth year with the business, said people are using “a lot more bikes” and families want to do something with their kids, preferably outside.

She said business has been “up quite a bit” in April compared to last year, even though spring is usually a busy period.

While cycle shops were forced to shut their doors to in-person contact, Sean was able to travel from Georgetown, Stoney Creek and even the Niagara Region responding to customers.

“Unfortunately, the bricks-and-mortar shops are struggling,” he said.

Allison said about 50 per cent of their orders are from Hamilton, while about 40 per cent are from the Halton area, with a few requests from St. Catharines.

Sean was recently working on a Mountain family’s two bikes, getting them ready for their children to ride, inside his van by the side of the road.

He has been receiving calls from seniors to help get their bikes ready for the outdoors; providing spring “tune-ups” and he even had a person call for him to put together a bike that she had ordered online.

“I’m getting a real good response from people,” said Sean. “Cycling is good for a person’s mental health. I’ve heard from parents they just want their kids to start being kids and not stuck in front of a screen all the time.”

Sean says the service is easy to access for the customer: They call or select a date for an appointment online. Sean arrives in his repair van and starts working on the bikes with no contact with the customer. He works with gloves, and the bike gets sanitized when they are returned.

The Greens were looking at adding a second van and a repair person, but then the pandemic started.

“Those plans are on hold,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chrissy Ronalds, operator of Set the Table Kitchen Co., has also adapted to the new pandemic business environment. Ronalds, who also operates The Lunch Lady, which provides nutritious food to schools, had to switch her business to Set The Table Kitchen after schools were shuttered. She partnered with the Ancaster Community Services to provide nutritious food for the organization’s Meals on Wheels and frozen food programs.

Ronalds, who has been in business for about four years, provides up to 140 meals a day out of her 3,000-square-foot Ancaster Business Park location, which she moved into earlier this year from another part of the park. The meals are delivered each day in large, specially designed containers to the various organizations.

“We developed a beneficial program with (Ancaster Community Services) and with the clients,” said Ronalds.

Ronalds has also hooked up with the Hamilton Food Share to provide prepared meals for the organization.

“I enjoy helping people and supporting organizations that assist the community,” she said.

Melanie Barlow, executive director of Ancaster Community Services, praises her new partnership with Ronalds.

“They have done such a great job,” she said. “The seniors love the meals and they are convenient.”

At a time when people, especially vulnerable seniors, are concerned about venturing outside, they need access to fresh, good, healthy food and meals, she said.

Seniors also like the frozen meals because they can store them until they are needed, she said.

The pandemic, though, has forced other Ancaster businesses to quickly adapt to the dramatically different economic landscape. Kari Morrow-Floren, who owns Kari’s of Ancaster on Wilson Street, had to shut her doors, but she still kept an active online presence for her public to shop.

“I was doing some business (during the shutdown),” said Morrow-Floren, who was accepting customers by appointment to her store May 19 when the province allowed retail outlets with a street access to open in Stage 1 of the province’s reopening strategy.

In some cases, if someone knocks on the door, she would allow them to enter, but would still maintain physical distancing protocols.

“I have lovely customers,” said Morrow-Floren, who was wearing a mask at the time.

Ann Adams, owner and operator of Hanley’s of Ancaster, said during the shutdown it was “absolutely terrible. It was difficult.”

But she was open to in-person customers, along with encouraging appointments online at the business’s website at her Wilson Street store on May 19. She said the two-storey building provided enough space for physical distancing.

“Customers have come back,” she said. “It has been great. We have had a steady flow of people.”