“Originally, when it started, we tried to stay open, but it just got to a point where the numbers were not there,” she said.
Since then, stores in Celina and Decatur have temporarily closed, but the Hey Sugar store in Roanoke has remained open. The store has been able to find success through new services, at-home offerings and by staying active on social media, Anderson said.
The store now offers delivery and curbside pickup options, and the ordering process has been streamlined to let customers customize orders any way they want, she said.
One item that has seen tremendous success has been do-it-yourself waffle kits, which provide customers two cones, a pint of ice cream, sprinkles and spoons so that they can build their own cone at home, Anderson said.
“It took off like crazy, and they are still selling really well,” she said. “We will continue to sell those forever.”
Something for which all Hey Sugar stores strive is full shelves and plenty of candy in stock, Anderson said. When walk-in customers were restricted by Denton County stay-at-home orders, the Roanoke store decided to use its inventory to create custom Easter baskets, she said.
“We have brought in $12,000-$15,000 in revenue from the baskets, and most of it is profit,” Anderson said. “At a time like this, that is music to an owner’s ears.”
With some locations temporarily shut down to save money on payroll costs, the intention is to reopen and rehire employees through assistance from the payroll protection plan in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economy Security Act recently passed by Congress, Anderson said.
The Roanoke store will remain open and will have someone available to fulfill orders throughout, she said. The store is currently operating under new hours—Thu.-Sun. from noon-6 p.m.—and orders can be placed by phone, email or Facebook message.
“If someone has a birthday or special occasion coming up, let us know what you need, and we will get it to you,” Anderson said. “We have had amazing feedback from the community, and we feel the same gratitude. It is really cool to see people supporting local business. They are choosing us, and it is a great feeling.”