It’s now been a week. We thought we called it early when we started selling to-go and delivery only, but events have been rolling out so quickly. We successfully launched delivery with team members helping run dispatch while Kevin and I scrambled around town. Y’all were awesome! Every door I went to was opened by someone with a huge smile. Buskey has always been in the business of making cider to delight our customers, but we never imagined bringing our cider right to their front door. There were a lot of encouraging moments. My friend, Hampden-Sydney classmate, and real estate agent, Josh Simpson, surprised me with an order to raffle off a gift card to his network, regular customers who missed our tasting room ordered, people have sent birthday ciders to their friends, immunocompromised people have been able to have zero contact delivery and a smile, I’ve even delivered to some awesome deep suburban customers who have never heard of us and have never been to a tasting room but suddenly have access to exciting local products they have never heard of. Shutting down for COVID-19 has forced us out of our comfort zone and the new frontiers are exciting. Honestly, we should have been catering to the outskirts or less craft accessible parts of Richmond before now, but Greater Richmond is gathering to support each other and it’s a special thing.
We are all struggling but our community is strong. We sent pallets of cans out into distribution as well. It was weird seeing a Premium Distributors of Virginia truck leave without kegs. Every keg that wasn’t on the truck represented a restaurant and team that our hearts are breaking for. Our cider has been a constant on so many taps around town and across the state. I already miss bellying up to the bar to order wings and a Buskey to catch up with the awesome bartenders around town. Many of these restaurants are going through a similar transition to ours moving to delivery and takeout only. Some haven’t even been able to keep that part of the business. It’s heartbreaking.
Standing in an empty tasting during our normal business hours is a weird experience. Our whole team is still at work. Today it felt like the world had stopped but we hadn’t. As I was starting to feel a little bad for myself my phone notified me that someone was ready for a six crowler delivery. Props to the couple who ordered 6 crowlers of cider! Our business is definitely hurting like almost every small local business around us but the thrill of making someone’s day with cider never ceases to inspire me. We are moving forward and the future is going to be a lot of fun!