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We're Open: Pandemic forces some business to get creative while others thrive

The challenge is to get customers back
Posted at 7:09 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 19:09:41-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Amber Singleton owns Bamber’s Sweet Creations in Avon. Singleton sells cupcakes, cookies, cakes and other sweet treats she dreams up.

The shop shares a space with Orange Leaf, a franchise locally owned and operated right off Highway 36. Orange Leaf is well known for its name and for its self-serve frozen yogurt.

For a long time, that name recognition and commodity helped bring customers in the door for both businesses. But when the pandemic started back in March, sales plummeted for the duo.

“We had to completely shift. You know our whole model is people come in and they get the frozen yogurt themselves and now that is off the table,” said Stephanie Bernhardt, owner of Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt.

“It’s been rough. We had to really adjust to everything. People aren't able to get larger orders for larger parties, if they get cupcakes they have to be individually packaged. So we’re just trying to adapt and move forward,” said Singleton.

Just a mile down the road, in the basement of an office building, another small business owner is managing a very different year than some of her peers.

Sabrena Haulter sells essential oils at the Little Oil Shop in Avon. "They can help with your mental health, nervous health, they can help you sleep better… they can help you with your skin,” said Haulter.

When cases of COVID-19 began to increase earlier this year, there was an uptick in people becoming interested in products that promote health and wellness who flocked to buy what Haulter had to offer. "For March and April I would say our sales were up probably 30 to 40 thousand,” said Haulter.

Haulter says her sales have started to level back off since the initial surge, but she’s grateful for the surprising influx she had not expected. Now, she’s running holiday deals to get people in the door just like Singleton and Bernhardt.

The bakery and frozen yogurt shops are open daily. Right now they are pushing holiday sets and encouraging customers to purchase gift cards so that their businesses can stick around for the long run.

For more details on Orange Leaf and to order online click here.

For more details on Bamber's Sweet Creations and to order online click here.

For more details on the Little Oil Shop and to order online click here.