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Oregon business preparing for second reopening phase

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FIREFLY

OREGON(WKOW) -- For the past few months, Firefly Coffeehouse in Oregon has been empty, aside from staff preparing food and beverages for curbside pickup.

"We have been walking every cup of coffee and every piece of food to people's cars," Jeanne Carpenter, the owner, said.

She says that sales have dropped by 50 percent despite a community happy to continue buying their products.

"We can only do so much business doing curbside delivery," Carpenter said.

Even with phase one of the Forward Dane plan allowing them to open up at 25 percent capacity, she decided it wasn't yet time for them to do that.

"We have eight full-time employees and we provide health insurance for them so we wanted them to keep their health insurance," Carpenter said. "We just thought it wasn't responsible or safe to let the public in, if our employees aren't healthy we're not open."

Carpenter says being closed has allowed them to make improvements that they otherwise wouldn't have been able to do like upgrading the espresso bar here.

While that's a silver lining, they've still been eagerly waiting for phase two, to reopen.

"I gotta say we are looking forward to having people back in the building," Carpenter said.

She says they're expecting business to bounce back to almost normal, but she's most excited to going back to being Oregon's living room.

"Just the fact that people can come into the door and say hello to their neighbor, even if it's with a mask on at six feet away, is huge because we've always been a community coffee shop and people come here to see each other," Carpenter said.

While phase two begins Monday morning, Firefly won't open until the following day. Carpenter says she's not yet sure when they'll go back to their normal hours.

However, she wants as many people as possible coming in to wear masks.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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