After making “the most difficult decision I have ever made” to temporarily shut down her Oakwood bakery two weeks ago, Ashley’s Pastry Shop owner Theresa Hammons will reopen the shop on Tuesday, April 7, with additional safeguards in place to protect customers and employees during the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic.
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“My decision to close until April 6 was to support the governor's first stay-at-home order while allowing us the time to set up procedures when we reopen that would allow for the safest shopping experience for our customers and staff,” Hammons told this news outlet this morning, Monday April 6. “We feel we have done that and will follow those procedures and precautions set forth.”
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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine extended the stay-at-home order last week to May 1. Restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores are considered “essential services” and are allowed to stay open, offering carryout and curbside pickup, and Ohio residents are allowed to venture out to purchase prepared foods. More than a dozen Dayton-area doughnut shops have remained open throughout the pandemic, although a half-dozen or so have decided to shut down until the stay-at-home order is lifted.
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Ashley’s Pastry Shop customers will be encouraged to call ahead and use curbside delivery, and to pay online via Venmo or PayPal, Hammons said. There will be a limit of two customers in the store at a time, and social distancing will be marked both inside and outside the store, the shop owner said. Products will be placed behind or inside display cases. Employees will wear masks and will wash hands between serving each customer.
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“We are in the essential listing of businesses, so that allows us the opportunity to keep our business open. Keep in mind, during the time we closed our front doors, we were still baking for some of our restaurants that were offering carryout service.”
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“We will be baking lots of breads, buns, dinner rolls — items that are in limited supply at the grocery stores,” Hammons said. “Also, we felt with this being Easter week, celebrations would be different in size, but being together as a family is important as well.”
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The bakery will offer curbside delivery and home delivery if necessary. While online payments will be encouraged, checks and cash will be accepted. Hours will be 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
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“Our cases will be full of deliciousness, and we are ready to reopen our doors,” Hammons said. “As many customers told me, we provide a sense of comfort and normalcy during these times.”