Rogue Valley businesses prepare to reopen

ASHLAND, Ore. — “I just miss everybody so much so much. I can’t wait till they can come in,” said Jessie Driskell, co-owner of ‘Mustard Seed Cafe’ in Jacksonville.

It’s an exciting time for Rogue Valley businesses as they look towards the light at the end of the tunnel, reopening.

“We actually turned our entire backyard which was just junk and weeds into more seating area. We added plants and kind of a local artist doing a mural,” said Driskell.

Driskell says they’ve moved tables outside to increase space and are training employees with new sanitation practices.

“We’re going to have sanitized station set up anywhere the customers are. We’re making it a one-way [path], so there’s not going to be a lot of traffic going back and forth through the tables,” she said.

A few towns over, co-owner of Ashland’s ‘Paddington Station’ Kelly Jean Hammond says they’ve been remodeling for the past month, adding plexi glass guards over the register and much more.

“We really rearranged the store so traffic can run smoother. We’ll have floor indicators so people can social distance and, of course, we have so much hand sanitizer,” said Hammond.

Hammond says there will be restrictions on how many people can be in the store at a time. And customers will be encouraged to wear masks, which they can also purchase inside.

“Hopefully, all of those things will help keep us safe and also allow us to help people get some retail therapy, which I think people are looking forward to,” Hammond said.

All of Driskell and Hammond’s hard work proves preparation can be a full time job.

“We just love our community so much and we have such a great following here and we just want to keep everybody safe,” said Driskell.

“I feel like we have a lot of responsibility to our community to make sure we stay safe and we operate our business in a way that keeps people safe,” said Hammond.

Both businesses are just awaiting Governor Kate Brown’s approval to re-open this Friday, May 15th.

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