Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has given the order for nonessential businesses to shut down. Restaurants can remain open but only using carryout or drive-through. Small businesses are beginning to feel the strain already.
One business in Hagerstown is doing what they can to maintain sales while still keeping up with social distancing guidelines while the pandemic is ongoing. That winery is also doing something adorable for its customers, thanks to a new employee, a dog!
Stone House Urban Winery in north Hagerstown now has a special animal member, Soda, who delivers wine bottles out to the parking lot for customers who are waiting. Soda was already a regular “employee” and was entertaining wine tasters for quite some time while they were coming in the store.
According to Fox 8, customers seem to love Soda: “They love it, they love Soda, they miss Soda, they keep telling them they will be back soon. People have never been here before come in just to meet Soda, watch him do the delivery, people with kids want them to see he do delivery.”
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Stone House Urban Winery is similar to many other businesses that have been hit hard after the order to close dining services was handed down. “We are the tasting room, we have a few food items, snack items, we also allow customers to bring in food.” says Lori Yata, the co-owner of the store. Typically, anywhere from 20-50 customers would come to their tasting room every day. Now that foot traffic has gone down, some of the servers were temporarily let go. They do come back on occasion to do some work-related tasks when needed.
“They realize we are struggling as well, and we are trying everything we can to keep them coming in as much as we can,” Yata said.
Yata is optimistic about the future, saying to Fox8, “We are going to look for the positive side of this, closing the store allow us to do things we normally can not keep up with, we are making tons of wine, we hope to get into the festival in the fall, which means we gotta make more wine.”
If you enjoy wine and would like to visit the Stone House Urban Winery in North Hagerstown, it is located at 12810 Shank Farm Way, Hagerstown, MD 21742, right by the Lowe’s store. You can go to their Wednesday through Sunday from 2:00 until 6:00 in the afternoon.
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