EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to an error in editing, The Happy Eggplant's submission was omitted from The Herald's Outlook editions. The article is published here.
Last year was certainly a trying time for all of us, but even through a worldwide pandemic, The Happy Eggplant Gourmet Food & Kitchen Shoppe was able to survive and thrive, thanks to the determination and commitment of its wonderful customers who did so much to support and promote the store.
"Our customers are our greatest asset," said owner Pamela Drobney. "I am so appreciative of the effort made by so many in our community to support local businesses, even when it would have been easy to just purchase on-line. I believe our area residents understand the value and importance of local businesses and they were determined to do what they could to support them.”
This support generated a successful business year for The Happy Eggplant, even after a very poor first five months, when all small businesses really suffered with so much uncertainty and government-regulated closures because of the pandemic.
Our business was more fortunate than many. We never had to close because we sell food products, which qualifies The Happy Eggplant as an essential business. By June people began to venture out a bit more and from that point forward business was very steady.
Everyone was sheltering at home and cooking and baking more than before and our shop offers quality ingredients and equipment that are ideal for home cooks. Our store is also more convenient and safer than the big box stores. You can park near our entrance, come in, easily find someone to help you, and enjoy a relaxed environment where social-distancing is easily achieved. And we probably have whatever it is you are looking for concerning your culinary interests and needs.
For those who are still uncomfortable entering stores because of the pandemic, The Happy Eggplant happily accepts phone orders and someone will carry your order out to you and place it in your vehicle when you arrive for pick-up.
"Michael and I are very grateful for our customer's tremendous and tenacious support throughout our 11 years at The Happy Eggplant and especially in 2020 and continuing in 2021," Pamela said, referring to her husband and co-owner, Michael Drobney.
"Our customers also have been and continue to be our best advertisers. I can't tell you how many new customers come into the store and announce that their friend or relative recommended The Happy Eggplant to them as a great shopping experience. In return, we intend to continue to offer everyone quality products and exceptional service. Our customers and The Happy Eggplant make a great team!"