Glebe neighbourhood vibes return with opening of shops

JD Adam is just one of the stores reopening on Bank Street, with pandemic precautions. Find out who is open at the Glebe BIA’s intheglebe.ca.

By Trevor Greenway

When Jennifer Adam reopened her kitchen supply store in the Glebe after being closed for more than two months, she had no idea whether to expect lineups or crickets.

But knowing how loyal her customers have been over the years, Adam and her husband John prepared for a busy time. They rehired all their staff, reorganized the store for easy navigation and implemented measures to keep employees and customers safe from COVID-19. To say that they are happy to be back would be an understatement.

“We’re smiling under these masks,” said Jennifer during the first week back in business at JD Adam Kitchen Co. She added that because there was no online shopping during the closure, customers couldn’t wait to get in the door that first day.

“We are extremely happy and thrilled to be open to serve our customers again. The Glebe has been our home for 34 years. Our loyal and friendly customers make it a great place to live and work. We love the neighbourhood because of the sense of community and support we’ve always been given.”

It was the same sentiment down the street at Escape Clothing, where owner Leslie Fraser helped clients find those perfect new spring and summer clothes for the first time in a while. She said she was moved by the level of support during her two-month closure – phone calls, emails and a pile of gift certificates purchased online to help them stay afloat.

“We love that this neighbourhood is like a village filled with a community of people who support their local businesses,” said Fraser. “We have a store chock-full of beautiful spring and summer merchandise that we can’t wait to show off.”

Escape and other clothing shops like Delilah have implemented one-on-one shopping appointments for clients who aren’t yet comfortable shopping the traditional way.

It’s impressive to see the lengths to which neighbourhood shops are going to keep customers and employees safe. Clothing is being steam cleaned after every fitting. Plexiglass screens have been installed at most stores, along with floor markers and hand-sanitizing stations.

At Top of the World Skateshop, owners Eric Dionne and Corey Hackett are continuing to offer curbside pickup and free delivery while allowing up to two people at a time inside the store. Hardcore boarders can order parts online while newer Tony Hawks can drop off their boards for full set-ups.

A quick stroll along Bank Street shows how excited retailers are to be open again – those good old neighbourhood vibes are starting to return to the Glebe.

With more businesses reopening each day, there has never been a more crucial time to support the local economy. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities. The people who run them are our neighbours and friends. They all need our help. While restaurants aren’t open yet, chefs have been cooking delicious takeout meals, and you can bet the grills will be ready when they fully open.

With a rapidly changing situation, it’s difficult to stay on top of everything, but the BIA is here to help. We have launched a 12-week blog series that will highlight all our businesses as the economy begins to chug again. The series will focus on a different theme each week, from sport and fitness and clothing to jewellery, books and art.

A blog is being posted each week during June, July and August at intheglebe.ca, and we will promote them on all our social channels at @intheglebe. We encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates from our business community.

Want to know if your favourite store is open? What are the new hours? Do you have to order ahead? We’ll capture all that and more in the blogs to make it easy for you to get what you need.

As businesses enter a brave new reality – one fraught with uncertainty – their success will depend on support from the neighbourhood and beyond. So buy a record, order a take-out meal, book a shopping appointment and support your favourite shop.

We would like to extend a warm thank you to residents and local community associations for their response to the needs of our member businesses during this difficult time. Your unwavering support and commitment have been apparent throughout this process, and we thank you for all you have done.

As more shops, restaurants and service providers reopen, they have one message for customers: Please come say hello, we’d love to see you again soon!

Trevor Greenway is communications and membership officer at the Glebe BIA (Business Improvement Area).

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