Recently, we read some encouraging news that the rate of spread of COVID-19 is slowing down in some countries, like South Korea, where early testing and vigilant social distancing appear to be making a difference. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times features an optimistic assessment by Michael Levitt, a Nobel laureate and Stanford biophysicist who recently spoke with Joe Mozingo, a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and advises us not to panic and while chastising the media for focusing too much on the negative news. It’s well worth reading Mozingo’s article, which details why Levitt is optimistic.
On that note, we decided to focus on the positive stories we’ve been getting from our readers and local businesses who are coping through this tough time, which we hope really won’t last much longer than early summer.
Wally and Terry August, intrepid entrepreneurs at Fancifull Gift Baskets have been sending cheery messages via social media, like the one below reminding us they operate a full-on gourmet grocery that delivers and always has for the last 33 years.
“Hey neighbors ! We own Fancifull on Melrose and live in the area . We actually are a smallish gourmet store with cheese, salami, salmon, snacks , nuts, chocolate, baked goods, pasta, soup, granola oh and Wine and Beer! We have vegan and gluten free items too. I also have some frozen items coming in like Mac and cheese, chicken sausages. I can get more so let me know what you need. May even be getting tp in today. We have puzzles and games- we are an odd mix. Donating 10% of all sales to Project Angel Food.
You can come in (there is enough space to keep distance and we have gloves and sanitizer), It is a quick in and out – no lines! Call or email and we can have something ready and can run it out to you. We can deliver too. [email protected]. We have a page on our website where you can pick individual items but it is not complete . Oh and you can send a gift too 😉. We also have gift cards available. Trying to help the neighborhood and keep my team employed with full hours. We’ve been here 33 yrs, I think we are Larchmont best kept secret. We will most likely be expanding our grocery items as we go forward so let us know what you usually need.”
Just across the street is Coffee Plus Food, at Melrose and Larchmont, which is also open every day for take out from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Our regulars have been thanking us profusely and continuing to come,” said owner Cyndi Finkle, who is trying to stay open for the neighborhood and for her staff. “People are buying bags of coffee and granola.”
Manager Ron Torres says if people call ahead, he’ll also be able to deliver curbside. Here’s the number: 323-962-3390.
And the Larchmont Village Wine and Cheese Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., for now offering take-out sandwiches from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., gourmet foods stuffs, and wine – of course. Owner Sergio Boccato told us the shop is really busy and he’s working hard to keep everything stocked, so that’s good news!
Gary Avetisyan from Topikal at 143 N Larchmont wrote to us:
“I wanted to reach out from Topikal CBD to share our story on how we’ve been dealing with this scary nightmare! We have had to close our doors and leave all of our employees with no income, which is devastating. A lot of our customers depend on our products for relief. keeping our doors closed has made it very difficult for them to buy Topikal products.
We are offering free delivery to the LA County for people who rely on our CBD products as a temporary solution. We are all hoping this will end soon. Being new to the area, we are trying to stay strong, and hope we can soon re-open our doors and continue to see the beautiful smiles passing by! Until then, we are staying optimistic and hoping everyone is staying home, safe with their loved ones! Thank you for the opportunity to share our story.”
Here’s a note we got from Ridgewood-Wilton resident Debbie King who was very sympathetic to those retailers on Larchmont who want to be able to ship out their inventory. Her business Economy Office Supply is in Glendale, but since she’s a residential neighbor, we’d thought we’d share it too.
“Economy Office Supply is a certified small business and also allowed to deliver during this time. If you need any office products [including snacks] please let us know – free delivery too to businesses. We also have developed a catalog for people who are working at home and need supplies…. Thanks for your help – we’re trying to keep all 24 of us employed too.”
Chevalier’s Books sent this out today:
Due to the public health crisis, Chevalier’s Books has closed our doors in order to keep our staff and our community safe.
In just a few days, we’ve already had so many people reach out to us asking, “How can we help Chevalier’s?” and we’ve never felt more grateful to be a part of this warm and loving community. We truly are blessed!
Our tentative reopen date is April 19, 2020, as accorded by the City of Los Angeles. Hopefully we’ll see you all sooner, but in the mean time here are some ways you can help Chevalier’s Books:
BUY GIFT CARDS: A book is a present you can open again and again. Purchase a Chevalier’s Gift Certificate for yourself or a loved one to use when we reopen. Buy here.
ORDER A BOOK: Request a book online and we’ll get right back to you. We can do door-to-door delivery for Larchmont locals or ship a book to your address. If we don’t have a book on the shelves, we can ship direct from our warehouses to your doorstep for $6 (2-5 business days). Request here.
We’ll be arranging phone and online orders, weekdays 10AM – 3PM. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 323-465-1334, though email is preferable.
These are confusing and wild times, but we maintain that there is no better comfort for the soul than a good book. (Also, you might want to lay off Netflix for just a bit.)
Much love to all,
And one last update: Village Pizzeria is closed for now, according to owner Steve Cohen.
“We braved it as long as we could,” wrote Cohen on Instagram. “It’s now time to make our health and safety the number 1 priority. We urge you all to follow suit and to take this matter seriously! A couple weeks inside is far better than weeks, or month, spent seriously ill – trust that! Stay tuned to this age and FB for further info. Not a goodbye, just a “see ya lata” – and we hope you are all staying safe and practicing social distancing!
Take care of yourself everyone. Thank you for all the endless support, we see and appreciate you…you know who you are!
Pizza love to all! We’ll be back….
That’s it for now. But, we are working on more stories. Our goal is to try to cover as many businesses as we can coping with this unprecedented crisis. Please let us know if you want to share your story or one about your favorite business. And, comment too!