On Thursday, Mayor Stoney announced that the City of Richmond will cautiously move into Phase 1 of Forward Virginia, the state’s reopening plan.
“When I look at the picture in totality, given the added tools at our disposal, the current trends in our local data and my faith in Richmonders to look out for one another, I believe that Richmond can cautiously move into Phase 1 on Friday, May 29,” said Mayor Stoney at Thursday’s press conference.
During the first delay that the City of Richmond requested, the Stoney administration and Richmond City Health District expanded testing efforts, implemented a contact tracing effort, ensured every COVID-19 positive Richmonder will be able to isolate safely and securely with supported isolation, and advocated for a statewide mask requirement.
The city initially requested a modified Phase 1 reopening that maintained restrictions on places of worship and personal care and grooming services, as mass gatherings and close personal contact for extended periods of time both significantly increase chance of community spread.
Because the governor denied the city’s modified plan for reopening, Richmond will move into Phase 1 of Forward Virginia, the state’s reopening plan, with strong recommendations reflecting the mayor’s proposed modifications. Local guidance and helpful links to state guidance are available here. The state has yet to provide guidance on what Phases 2 and 3 will include.
The mayor detailed a number of best practices for residents and business owners to ensure that the city moves into Phase 1 cautiously. The best practices emerged from conversations between the Stoney administration and members of the business community, faith leadership, and health professionals.
- All residents who are medically able to should wear a face-covering that covers the mouth and nose when in public spaces. The wearing of a face covering does not negate the need for 6-foot social distancing.
- Faith communities should continue to meet virtually if possible. If in-person meetings are absolutely necessary, the mayor strongly recommends faith groups meet outside while practicing strict social distancing and enforcing the face-covering requirement.
- Food and drink establishments that choose to offer outdoor service at half capacity are asked to request a name and contact information of patrons who dine in for contact tracing purposes. This practice is voluntary for both patrons and restaurants. However, collecting this small amount of information for each dine-in party will go far in assisting the Richmond City Health District in tracing and containing outbreaks. Guidance on this practice is available here.
The mayor made two requests of the state: to continue to assist the city in further expanding testing capacity and in providing adequate face-coverings and hand sanitizer throughout the capital city.
“Quite frankly, we’re going to need more support from the state for our residents and our businesses to reopen safely and sustainably,” the mayor noted in his appeal. “I make these recommendations and requests of the state because, as has been my mantra this entire pandemic. Reopening should be slow and steady.”
“When public health is on the line, blindly pushing forward is not an option. Decisions must be thoughtful, and they must be based in our collective knowledge of and love for our city.”
See more reopening guidance for local businesses here: www.rvastrong.org/reopeningguidance.
Gourmet popcorn shop Lammar Marie’s reopens renovated tasting room in Short Pump
The business, which closed its retail store during COVID-19, is back open for in-person shopping and has renovated their storefront.
Short Pump gourmet snack shop Lammar Marie’s closed its doors as covid-19 settled into the US this March. Business never stopped, however. The gourmet popcorn shop continued to brighten days and elevate snack time as families quarantined.
“It was exceptional to be a part of something larger and bring people together,” says owner Rialand Lammar. “We all appreciate the little things so much more now.”
Through the summer, the popcorn shop’s action-packed flavors arrived on doorsteps across the country, including the blogging family behind Young House Love. Back in the shop, the brand underwent renovations and curated its growing collection of wines.
“We’re so excited about our partnership with Prince Michel, the winery behind our label,” Lammar says. “Each variety has tasting notes to pair with our popcorn flavors.”
The tasting room features new COVID precautions, including floor decals, sneeze guards, and seating arrangements. Fresh merch is speckled throughout, including blankets, hoodies, punny popcorn greeting cards, bowls, and more.
The tasting room reopened on Thursday, October 22. New popcorn flavors of the month are on the way, including Chicken & Waffles and S’mores. The VIP Popcorn Club continues to grow, and they are preparing for holiday orders–they can customize any flavor or bag for businesses and events.
Foodē is a new food delivery service hoping to shake up the game in Richmond
While other services charge 30 percent on delivery orders, Foodē only charges 10 percent. As a bonus, ordering take out has zero additional fees.
A Richmond entrepreneur is aiming to create a new food delivery service without the hefty fees at a time when every penny counts and many restaurants are struggling. Foodē, a new app launching next month, is a user-friendly service that delivers great food without crazy fees.
The pandemic has been especially challenging for restaurant owners. While delivery services may be necessary to keep doors open, the fees associated may be causing restaurants to lose money. Foodē aims to solve that problem by offering food delivery services that won’t destroy profits for small mom and pop restaurants. While other services charge 30 percent on delivery orders, Foodē only charges 10 percent. As a bonus, ordering take out has zero additional fees.
Restaurants can test the service for 60 days free of charge. The hardware necessary to use the app is free and Foodē is offering to enter the full menu for the first restaurants that sign up. From there, restaurants can manage inventory, add discounts, and make changes to the menu and hours.
Much like other delivery services in the market, consumers can download an app or use a web browser to view restaurants and place an order. However, the difference lies in the savings. Whether one chooses takeout or delivery, they will pay exactly what the merchant charges, never more. Contactless dine-in and curbside pickup is included as features for no additional fee.
With family in the restaurant industry as both owners and employees, Foodē founders Phu and Anna Nguyen know from experience how challenging fees can be for restaurants first hand. They wanted to create a service that would help, not hinder, a restaurant’s growth.
With no investors to answer to, they don’t have to worry about the pressure to increase profits.
“The goal is to create a platform that is more socially responsible. It’s not about making money as the end goal,” said Phu.
The service is expected to launch next month. Restaurants and grocery stores interested in registering should contact [email protected].
For more information on how to join as a business or consumer, visit go-foode.com.
Lamplighter co-owner cooking up new Chipotle-style breakfast concept in West End
Zach Archibald, co-owner of Lamplighter Coffee Roasters, is betting on a new Chipotle-style breakfast concept near Freeman High School.
From Richmond BizSense:
Zach Archibald is betting there’s a place in the West End for his style of breakfast.
The co-founder and co-owner of Lamplighter Coffee Roasters will launch Surrounding Counties Specialty Coffee Explorers Club, a quick-serve breakfast concept on Nov. 1 at 8801-A Three Chopt Road.
The 1,500-square-foot spot in the Westbury Shopping Center will sell coffee drinks and breakfast food in a to-go format with a cafeteria-line format similar to the Chipotle experience.