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Wellesley espresso bar puts the coffee back on for clients

Sherrie Kirby is currently the only staff working at Grammy’s Boutique in Wellesley, she has reopened her business in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. Kirby has adjusted her workspace and continues to serve up coffee and treats using social distancing measures. [Damon MacLean]

Proactive in shutting down last month in response to the coronavirus situation, the owner of Grammy’s Boutique & Espresso Bar in Wellesley is now back in operation, albeit in a modified fashion.

The espresso bar is now open for takeout service in keeping with COVID-19 regulations, with owner Sherrie Kirby the sole staff person on site.

“We closed down about 30 days ago just as a matter of precaution before the essential services list came out,” said Kirby.

After being closed for a couple of weeks, Kirby decided to contact the Public Health department and the local health inspector to find ways that she could reopen the shop seeing as chain coffee shops such as Tim Hortons and Starbucks have been able to remain open.

Seeing that, she proposed reopening her coffee bar with some modifications, changes she presented to health officials.

To start, she decided that the business would become a walk-up service. As an additional measure of safety, she placed a table blocking the open doors to ensure no one other than her would be entering the property.  Next, she is maintaining a one-worker policy and having one person make the coffee. The new rules are easy to maintain since she is that one worker.

“We have all sorts of hand sanitizers, bleach sprays and paper towels we use before and after sliding the drink across [the table],” she explained of the precautions being taken.

Kirby has also made a transition to e-transfer as a means of payment as well as a jar for customers to put their money in. Kirby notes Canada’s plastic money allows a safe transfer of cash: “At the end of the day, I put the money into bleach with some water and leave it sit for a little bit, just to make sure it is sanitized.”

Currently, Kirby is serving coffee and pastries that she individually bags herself. The Espresso Bar reopened with modifications on Monday.

Kirby gives credit to the community in Wellesley for her continued success. On the first day back open, “we’ve probably had five to 10 [customers]. A couple of families would send one person that would [order] five coffees, and they would take it away in a carry-out.”

Hours of operation have also changed, and the espresso bar is currently open 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with a 4 p.m. closing time on Saturdays.

Orders can be placed in advance over the phone or through social media.

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