As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, local businesses like Fresh Market Coffee are adapting and innovating to continue to deliver service to the Waxahachie community.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott first declared a state of disaster on March 13, and beginning March 19 the government began directing the closure of some businesses.

Fresh Market Coffee owner, Shane Henry, stated that Fresh never officially closed. As the pandemic continued, the coffee shop adapted in the ways it could.

"For myself as an owner and the business side of the coffee shop and a global pandemic that is literally shutting down the economy, it’s a scary time," Henry said. "To know that I have employees that depend on a paycheck and bills that are expected to get’s a little overwhelming to not know what the next day is."

Although there was a week where the business was unsure if they were going to be able to stay open, Henry was able to keep business going. The business has also changed its policies and procedures to accustom to the post covid-19 world.

"Because we are small town community and my employees I do consider them family. There was a positive responsibility to try and stay open as long as possible," Henry said. "So on the business side the struggle was so much unforeseen. On the employee side, these individuals come into work everyday and exposing themselves."

During this time, Henry has been able to go without laying any staff off but had to reduce shifts for a time being. Some of his out-of-state college staff members left home as Covid-19 cases rose.

Additionally Henry shared that the community has been very supportive of the coffee shop. He shared that some customers have refused to use their loyalty points, instead buying a full priced coffee.

Kortne Hamilton, a barista has been working for Fresh Market Coffee for over a year, shared her experience working through the pandemic.

"I really like working there[Fresh], it’s like a small family," Hamilton said. "Working there I really realized how our community really needs to interact with one another, Hamilton said. "I know a lot during the pandemic so many people have been down, so being able to provide just one small cup of coffee and just one smile, I’ve seen how it changes our customers days and how excited they are to come into Fresh and just have that one specific location or that one specific business that has stayed open that they can come to without being isolated and to be able to give back to my community in that way, I always feel so fulfilled, working at Fresh.."

Hamilton shared that wearing a face mask has been one of the most challenging accommodations because she can’t give a friendly smile or speak easily with customers.

"Our Fresh family, we’ve adjusted to it[Covid-19] really well and to make it our new normal." Hamilton said.

Fresh Market Coffee has added 12 picnic tables outside so their customers can enjoy the outside space when visiting.

Currently, the business is only at 50 percent capacity, as Gov. Abbott has mandated. They are also encouraging the use of masks but their employees will be the only people required to wear them for the time being.

Their hours are Mon.- Sun. from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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