Local businesses work to keep their doors open in Frisco amid coronavirus fears

Tulla Patisserie & Cafe offers artisan breads, pastries and an assortment of coffees. (Elizabeth Ucles/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tulla Patisserie & Cafe offers artisan breads, pastries and an assortment of coffees. (Elizabeth Ucles/Community Impact Newspaper)

Tulla Patisserie & Cafe offers artisan breads, pastries and an assortment of coffees. (Elizabeth Ucles/Community Impact Newspaper)

Frisco’s small businesses are pivoting their business models since the coronavirus outbreak and the community is noticing their efforts.

From offering online-only assistance to halting dine-in service, these businesses are taking new measures to keep serving their customers.

Tulla Patisserie & Cafe

Tulla Patisserie & Cafe, a French bakery on Teel Parkway, started seeing an impact on sales a few weeks ago, said co-owner Brian Bezdek.

Bezdek and his wife and co-owner Jennifer Bezdek kept an eye on customers’ responses to the virus, he said, and noticed many saying they could not find bread at grocery stores.

“So we significantly ramped up our bread production,” he said, as Tulla Patisserie & Cafe offers homemade breads and pastries.

Bezdek said they started encouraging customers to pre-order loaves, and the bakery has increased its sales since then.

Tulla Patisserie & Cafe decided to close all dining room seating beginning this week and will now only offer to-go service, Bezdek said. The bakery is not reducing its hours as of the publication of this story.

If restaurants in Frisco are required to close, Bezdek said this will affect the bakery’s part-time employees—which include many high school students.

“We know it’s going to be a little bit of a tough run economically for us and that it’s going to hit some of our employees,” Bezdek said. “We’re just focused on providing for the community and doing the best that we can.”

Artistic Organics

In downtown Frisco, CBD business Artistic Organics has also seen a downturn in sales, said co-owner Kellie Kauten.

Kauten said Artistic Organics responded to the outbreak by shifting business to offer free delivery of its CBD products throughout Texas.

“One of the nice things about being a really small business is we can absolutely change our business model,” Kauten said. “If consumers feel like, ‘Hey, I can order from them and it’s free shipping.’ OK, that’s what we’re doing.”

Since the shift to free delivery, Kauten said there has been an uptick in online sales, though overall sales are down. She explained Artistic Organics has gotten great response from offering free consultations through email, Facebook and other social media platforms so customers do not feel like they have to come into the store.

Kauten said she and co-owner Ed Mahoney are trying to be as proactive as possible, even sending an email out to customers last week detailing the cleaning and disinfecting they are doing in the store for those who want to go in to shop.

“Obviously, no business can weather through it indefinitely if your doors are closed, but on the flip side, how flexible can you be?” Kauten asked. “How can you still service your customers?”

The Paw Depot

Another downtown Frisco small business is working to keep the city’s pets cared for amid the outbreak.

Giulio Ferrari, founder and CEO of The Paw Depot, said he has found people are trying to stockpile pet foods, but are not buying much of the treats, toys and other things shoppers usually pick up.

“Our prices are going to be exactly the same [going forward],” Ferrari said. “We’re doing free delivery [everyday]. I’m fortunate enough that dogs still need to eat. Everything else, the sales have plummeted. We’re down to the meat and bones right now.”

Ferrari said many small businesses in the area are doing all they can to service their customers during this time.

“We know that dogs still need to eat, so it’s our responsibility to be open in order for the dogs not to go without,” The Paw Depot founder said.

Cool Pool People

Business for Cool Pool People, a local pool management company, is still doing well, said owner Todd Gustafson.

So far, 100% of the business’ clients are continuing service, but Gustafson said he recognizes the fear in the community.

“We’re going to people’s households where there’s a lot of fear and uncertainty,” Gustafson said.

In an effort to quell customer fears, Gustafson said Cool Pool People separated all its equipment and materials so each employee is only touching his or her own materials. The business will also wait three days to open supply deliveries.

Gustafson said he is preparing for the worst. In the event of mandatory quarantine, Cool Pool People staff will give every client a baggie full of granular chlorine for two weeks along with instructions for pool cleaning.

Cheney Group

Real estate business Cheney Group is keeping an eye out for how coronavirus will impact its industry.

“We’re having to monitor the impact on the economy,” partnership director Melanie Nance said. “We’re having to monitor what that means for mortgage rates and house values.”

Cheney Group has remained busy with home buyers and sellers, Nance said, but the real estate group is taking precautions.

Some precautionary measures include offering virtual tours through video chat for those unable to leave their home and asking buyers to have their preapproval letters ready to limit traffic through homes, she said.

Open houses will have added hand sanitizer and limit groups to 10 people or less, Nance said.
By Elizabeth Ucles
Elizabeth is the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Frisco edition. She graduated from St. Edward's University with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric with a journalism concentration and a minor in Spanish in May 2019. Elizabeth covers public and higher education, development and transportation.


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