Coronavirus: Wilton businesses implement changes

WILTON — Even before Gov. Ned Lamont ordered the closing of restaurants except for takeout for the immediate future, various local businesses have implemented some changes they hope will encourage patronage and foster safety.

“They can phone in their order and they can request curbside pickup,” explained Melissa Ferreira, owner of Sobol of Wilton, which is among the local businesses doing likewise.

On Friday, the Wilton Chamber of Commerce sent out a notice listing member businesses that are maintaining hours, as well as describing some of the modified services various places are offering. These services are changing and so, the Chamber is continuing to reach out to as many members and businesses as possible to relay information to the community.

“For our residents, please continue to support our local businesses in any way you can,” it said.

“We started curbside this week already,” said Marc Avery, owner of Marly’s Bar & Bistro in Wilton Center. “We are going to be implementing delivery service and offering family-size options.”

And like other businesses, he said, much more rigorous sanitizing protocols are being put in place, as well as strict directions for employees not feeling well or exhibiting any signs of illness to stay at home.

“Obviously, the most important thing is that we stop the spread,” Avery said.

“It’s very slow right now,” said Alfredo LoPresti, manager of Wilton Pizza & Pasta, also in Wilton Center, “understandably slow.”

But he said that until they hear otherwise from the authorities “or the powers that be,” they will continue to stay open for service.

“We’re considering curbside to limit the number of people coming in and out,” LoPresti said.

According to owner Nancy Saxe, Sweet Pierre’s in the River Park Plaza is still seeing customers both in the store and through deliveries.

“People have been coming in because I think that chocolate is a bit of a comfort food,” she said.

While Saxe acknowledges the situation could hurt business if it continues, she has done her part by limiting the number of customers allowed in the store at any one time, given the chance for close proximity.

Visitors are also met at the door with hand sanitizer, which she asks people to use to help augment a sense of safety amidst the merchandise.

“I can run their card without them even handing it to me,” Saxe said, so that contact can be kept to a minimum.

Delivery has long been part of business at the Town Green Cleaners on River Road, explained owner Insook Hur, but now more than ever it’s proving an important element in customer service.

At the store the numbers are low, but that offers all the more time to keep up with the sanitizing practices being employed.

“We’ve been cleaning outside and inside very frequently now,” Hur said.

Still, like others, there’s a sense that things are very different.

“Now it’s so quiet, after the schools closed,” she said.

“Hopefully, it’s over soon and we can just get back to normal.”