Adapt or fail: Businesses search for ways to keep their doors open

Published: May. 7, 2020 at 5:19 PM EDT
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Local businesses are continuing to adapt to connect with customers as they work to keep their doors open.

“I was able to get a waiver because I’m a specialty shop with wine."

Melinda Frost is the owner of the Not So Empty Nest, a gift and home goods store in Bangor.

She re-opened her doors Wednesday.

“It went really smoothly. It was steady all day. We came up with our own opening plan to reach all different comfort levels.”

Frost says she’s adapted her business to offer private shopping times, curbside service, virtual product showings on Facebook, and more.

“I need to meet the needs of all of my customers.”

Doug Reed is the franchise owner of the Bangor SweetFrog.

“I had to as an owner decide what are we going to do to be innovative.”

Sales of their frozen yogurt dropped drastically as customers stayed home.

“We need to bring sweetfrog to people’s homes. Right now delivery is probably sixty percent of our business.”

They keep in touch with customers on social media and deliver to different areas on different days.

“People have gotten more and more hours through this business model and we’ve actually hired four more people.”

“Delivering happiness to their doorstep.”

While most of the changes are made out of necessity, some may end up sticking around longer term, like social media.

“It’s definitely taken me outside my comfort zone with social media." said Frost. "Two months ago I never thought I’d be on a Facebook live. I think we’ve reached a lot of new customers which I think is really exciting.”

“Three or four posts a day where it used to be three or four posts a week.” said Reed.

Sweetfrog may also try limited delivery options even after things calm down.

“We certainly feel that this has opened up an avenue, going to events and that type of thing.”

“I’d just like to appreciate all of my customers they’ve been super super supportive.” said Frost.

“We are looking forward to when the restrictions are a little more looser where more and more people can come inside." said Reed.