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Businesses Expand During Pandemic

Open. Closed. Take-out Only. Limited Capacity. Businesses have been through a lot this past year. Unfortunately, some didn’t survive, but some Businesses we spoke with have been beginning a new trend as the Pandemic continues.

Businesses are now expanding. Yes, some had to close their doors for good, but others have opened more. Toni Illuzzi whipped up a new recipe for success in hopes her Family Business would beat COVID. Illuzzi, Co-Owner of Custom Cakes & Cookies saying: “We started to offer contactless delivery, we dropped prices, we had to dig deep and get creative and whatever we had to do to survive.” Custom Cakes and Cookies in Johnstown thrived, and more than doubled in size with this new store. Illuzzi saying: “We went from 800 square feet to 2600 square feet and haven’t looked back since.”

Business blossomed for ‘Sandy Johns’ in Ebensburg – they also expanded. Owner Rebecca Bodenschatz saying: “We opened up our flower side and we have terrarium building now on our plant side so it really has flourished and I’m just so grateful for the community’s support.”

Both Business Owners say one thing was key to keep Customers. Bodenschatz saying: “Delivering it to them if they weren’t able to make it out was something that really skyrocketted our sales.” Illuzzi adding: “My husband was delivering 6-7 hours a day straight because everyone wanted to let family members know they were thinking of them even if they couldn’t be with them.”

With restrictions lifted, they hope to see some new faces in-store. Bodenschats saying: “If you have little kids, bring them into the shop let them build a succulent terrarium, cactus terrarium and it’s just something fun now to be able to get back out and enjoy these spaces again.”

Illuzzi saying: “It took me 26 years to step out of the comfort zone, but we did it and it’s probably the best thing we’ve ever done.” Both Business Owners tell us they hope to see more Small Businesses grow with them as we get past the Pandemic.

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