The COVID-19 pandemic is the only thing I can think about these days. As an immuno-compromised person and small business owner, it weighs on all aspects of my life as it does for most everyone else I imagine. It is now well-understood that it is up to all of us to take steps to reduce transmission of this highly contagious virus and that impeccable hygiene and social distancing will be the most important tools in this effort.
For the 39 people at Highwire, it presents us with some tough decisions as our livelihood is all about gathering places (and great coffee). Most of our people do not have the luxury to work from home or the savings to go without hours for long. Like most other small food and beverage businesses, we are unsure how long we will weather a severe downturn in revenue before going out of business. On the one hand, there is a sense that closing our business could help slow the spread of the pandemic. On the other, there is no safety net for any of us who count on this to pay our bills, provide our health insurance, and in the best-case scenario, help us work toward retirement someday. At the moment we are choosing to act cautiously. We are taking additional measures each day as information becomes clearer, trying to balance these considerations.
Please know that if you feel comfortable being in public, our cafes are open and are taking extra measures to keep them as safe as possible.
Highwire Coffee has always felt it is our duty to offer Health Insurance to our employees. We want to empower our people to have coverage to seek medical care if/when they need it.
We offer all employees PTO above the locally required sick time. It's the right thing to do and gives our people a little bit extra safety net during times like these.
In the roastery and at our cafes we are looking at all practices to find ways we might further reduce the potential transmission of any viruses or bacteria.
For now, we are moving to single-serve sugar packets, wooden stir sticks rather than reusable spoons, only serving beverages and pastries in single-use cups and envelopes, and wiping all surfaces down with a sanitizing solution throughout the day and at the end of service each evening. We will hand a lid to you to reduce the number of people touching components of your beverage.
If it's available to you, we ask that you pay with a credit card or touchless payment method to reduce the amount of cash we all need to touch. If cash is your only option, we welcome you and will do what we have to do to remain safe.
If you or anyone in your household are at risk, sick or need to self-quarantine due to contact with someone who has been ill, please do. It's for the greater good. We get it and above all, want our employees and extended communities to be safe and well.
If you need us, we will ship freshly roasted coffee and delicious, nourishing teas directly to you. We roast and ship Monday through Thursday.
I know that each of us is going through a very difficult time. It has been my experience these last 9 years that our communities are particularly caring and resilient. I trust that will be the case during the present crisis and wish each of us health and wisdom while we navigate it together.