Business owners in the East Village changing how they operate to keep doors open

Some shops have added curbside pick-ups, launched websites or are now offering to drop off items. DES MOINES, Iowa — It has been a challenging year for business owners.  COVID-19 brought on shutdowns and then reopening phases. Now, owners are looking for ways to survive.  Three shop owners in the […]

Some shops have added curbside pick-ups, launched websites or are now offering to drop off items.

DES MOINES, Iowa — It has been a challenging year for business owners. 

COVID-19 brought on shutdowns and then reopening phases. Now, owners are looking for ways to survive. 

Three shop owners in the East Village say they’ve been able to stay afloat during the pandemic and not close their doors because they changed parts of how they operate their business. 

For Hannah Krause, owner of Eden Apothecary, this meant launching an online store. 

“We launched our website November second,” Krause said. “For our business, having an online shop is critical to be able to sustain another ten, twenty, thirty years as just a modern retailer.”

It has been almost a month since this feature was added to her business, and Krause says it already accounts for nearly 20% of their daily orders. 

But Wanderlust owner Jennifer Coughenour noted that even with her online presence, it isn’t enough. 

Coughenour said since the spring, she has had to work overtime to sustain her shop. Although she has been putting in extra hours, there has been a slight decrease in sales due to loss of people coming to the store.

A lot of her visitors would come during the summer months after leaving various festivals or the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market, but none of those large gatherings were held this year.

Even if sales pick up in December, but she says it will not be enough it make up for months of deficits. 

“It’s going to be hard to make up with in a short amount of time … So that’s going to be a continual thing that will go into next year,” Coughenour said. 

Bill Rieckhoff, owner of Almost Famous Popcorn, said his shop is doing well and he only expects his sales to continue to rise through the end of the year. 

“The fourth quarter and December in particular is the biggest time for us,” Rieckhoff said. “We see a giant spike in business. This is our busy time.”

Going forward, these small business owners said all they ask for is the public’s continued support so that once the pandemic is over, small businesses are still around to serve the community. 

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