It was St. Patrick’s Day when the statewide shutdown of bars and restaurants began. Anne Milneck remembers it vividly because it was the same day she went from teaching cooking classes in rooms full of people to filming classes on Facebook Live from her home kitchen.
Though she’d had a previously planned private event that night, Milneck recognized that it was just as important for a food shop to practice social distancing as it was for restaurants. She canceled all her events and began rethinking her retail strategy.
For the Red Stick Spice Co. owner, filming videos was never a top priority. She was camera shy and preferred interacting with her students in-person. But on this day, she didn’t even flinch when her social media manager asked her to get in front of the camera.
“This is what the world needs right now,” Milneck says. “Let’s not even think about making this transition to a transaction at the cash register. That’s not even a part of the conversation.”
Read on for how Milneck and other food business owners leaned on technology to help them connect with customers during coronavirus. This story originally appeared in 225‘s May 2020 issue as part of a cover story on how the local restaurant industry is dealing with the shutdown. Read the full cover story here.