The pandemic has required small businesses like those around Chemainus and Crofton to create innovative ways to stay afloat.
Cedrick’s Coffee House in Crofton is a case in point, making a move that’s turned out for the better and been well-supported by the community.
“For the past six years, we have been struggling to cover our costs and, when the pandemic arrived on the scene, we were ready to throw in the towel,” explained owners Gerry and Judith Fewster in a statement.
But that’s when Shelley Anderson, the coffee house manager, refused to be defeated and decided if the community couldn’t come to Cedrick’s, then Cedrick’s would go to the community.
”Step by step, she began to make the necessary changes to our physical plant that would enable us to provide ‘takeout’ services while creating an ever-increasing array of food and beverage options,” the Fewsters pointed out.
The response has far exceeded everyone’s expectations since the change was implemented.
Anderson and lifelong Croftonite Krysta Johnson, who works alongside her, put a plan into action.
“It’s just gone crazy,” said Anderson. “What’s wonderful about the community is Krysta and I started our own Facebook page and the community has come together as well.”
They decided to create a Crofton, B.C. business page.
“We put on Sunday specials – full meals – they pick up before two o’clock and take them home with them,” noted Anderson.
“Customers from across the valley are making Cedrick’s their place of choice for breakfast and lunch takeouts,” the Fewsters added. “The feedback has been quite amazing and Shelley, along with her assistant Krysta, are doing their very best to keep up with the demand. The irony is that the restrictions of the pandemic have given Cedrick’s a new lease on life and we are delighted to be providing a service that addresses the current needs of our community.”
“We’re really thankful for the community to come through and keep our business thriving,” said Anderson.
“I’m really happy with the changes here now,” Johnson concurred. “Before, it was really clustered and couldn’t control the traffic that came in.”
The support within the same block in Crofton with Donna Negrin and the staff at the post office, Maureen Hobson at the Crofton Shop ‘N’ Wash and Galletto Market and Deli has been beneficial to all.
Cedrick’s shut down initially on March 16 as the pandemic became prevalent in the region and reopened July 1, going to full takeout on Oct. 1.
“Krysta and I stay up pretty much all night, how creative can we be tomorrow?” laughed Anderson.
“If Krysta and I don’t have fun, we wouldn’t be here.”
“If it’s not fun, it gets left undone,” added Gerry Fewster.
“These guys turned it around in the face of adversity. To me, that was brilliant.”
And, on top of that, “she’s just a great cook,” praised Judith Fewster of Anderson.
Cedrick’s is a registered Community Support Company that donates its profits to the Kids International Development Society, a Vancouver Island charity that assists in providing children, youth and families in Cambodia and Myanmar with education, health care, clean drinking water and medical services.