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The YEG Survival Kit: Local businesses teaming up amid outbreak
EDMONTON -- As markets and trade shows are cancelled due to COVID-19 some local vendors are teaming up to get through the outbreak.
Connor Pellow with El Gringo Foods said the news of the cancellations was sudden, they had already finished preparations.
“Literally moments after packaging our last container is when the first email came in saying one of the shows we were to do closed this past weekend,” said Pellow.
Pellow said this time of year is normally busy, spring is approaching and market season isn’t far behind.
“I had 700 chocolates made, I was ready to go,” said Colleen Heidecker from Colleen's Chocolates.
Pellow and Heidecker said that farmers markets can provide upward of 90 per cent of the annual revenue for their businesses.
With event cancellations piling up and uncertainty of what will happen in the coming months, both were worried.
“A friend of ours was talking to me and I said ‘what are we going to do we’ve got all this product,’ and he said ‘well I was thinking of having this box filled with local vendors in it,’ and I was like ‘let’s do it,’” said Heidecker.
The YEG Survival Kit comes in eight varieties, with dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan and spicy as a few of the options. Each one is $100 and contains an assortment of goods, 12 vendors are listed among the selections.
“We had 20 boxes out delivered yesterday and we have 20 more going out probably tomorrow morning,” said Damini Mohan with Mini Kitchen. “We are excited about this, it gives us an opportunity to make sure some of our product is moving.”
“It’s an opportunity for us to make sure we can pay our rent and make sure we can pay our staff,” said Pellow.
The boxes are helping the businesses but Pellow points out they are also helping people who are self-isolating.
“If there are people practicing social distancing we are able to work with those customers and come up with delivery methods where we can leave it on the door step, leave it there and you can come pick it up once we leave.”
The group is considering continuing with the venture even when markets are able to reopen.
YEG Survival Kits can be ordered online.
With files from CTV Edmonton’s Joey Slattery