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We're Open Indy: Gillespie Florists introduces curbside service after executive order

Posted at 7:31 AM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 08:09:50-04

In a time when we can't all gather around a table, we can still come together as a community. We're Open Indy is a partnership between WRTV and our local restaurants and businesses with one goal: getting them through this tough time. Every day, we will help shine a light on the businesses that make up our community by telling their stories and rallying around those who are keeping the grills going, the hospitals running, and the businesses operating.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana businesses are adjusting the way they operate to comply with the state's stay-at-home orders.

The business model Sarah Gillespie and her staff at Gillespie Florists have followed for several days is now a statewide policy after Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued an executive order banning customers from entering a list of non-essential businesses, including flower shops.

Now businesses that want to stay open will have to sell their product via curbside pickup, delivery or online.

"Delivery service is something we do all year long, but the curbside service is something that we rolled out on (March 25) and our store front is closed, but we can bring flowers out to our customers there at the door," Gillespie said.

Gillespie said she appreciates Holcomb's executive order because it not only keeps the workers inside her store safe, but it allows their flower shop to still sell their product, which these days feels like an essential.

"Many of the clients that we are assisting are funeral clients. People who have lost a loved one," Gillespie said. "I spoke with a lady yesterday out in this parking lot, took her order for a casket spray for her husband. She didn't get to say goodbye to him. She didn't even get to visit him and now she can't even grieve with her family because of the restrictions in place."

As operations continue, Gillespie said 70% of her staff voluntarily asked to be taken off the schedule to either care for their kids who are now out of school or to protect themselves from the coronavirus that doesn't appear to discriminate.

In the meantime, Gillespie is optimistic and looking forward to a day when all her employees are back and life feels somewhat normal.

"I don't think that there's going to be a long-term effect on the business, but I do think that when the stay-at-home order is lifted it's going to take a couple of weeks to normalize to our new normal what ever that will be," Gillespie said.

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