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Léandre and André Ménard, co-owners of Boucherie Ménard on Main Street East in Hawkesbury. Photo: James Morgan

Food stores busy, non-essential businesses look for ways to adapt during emergency closure

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, local businesses are still adapting to emergency restrictions and changes in consumer habits.

Emergency orders have closed most businesses to the public in Ontario, but food stores are considered essential and are open.

Marché Lacroix has been a Hawkesbury landmark at the corner of James and Regent streets for 85 years.  The current emergency has the neighbourhood grocery store and meat market busy serving customers who are staying home in order to avoid exposure to COVID-19.

Manager Stéphane Jeaurond said they are taking a lot of telephone orders and making deliveries, especially for older people.

The market is well-known for its homemade, single-serving meals and soups.

Normally, 14 people work at Marché Lacroix, but Jeaurond said he has had to hire “a few more,” to keep up with the extra demand.  One employee is at home in self-isolation after returning from a trip.

Jeaurond said he worked 94 hours during the previous week because things were so busy at the store.  He said older and vulnerable people need to be kept at home right now, but he wants people to cooperate and not make unnecessary trips out in public.

At Boucherie Ménard on Main Street East in Hawkesbury, business has increased in recent weeks.

“Right now, it’s crazy,” said Léandre Ménard, who co-owns the butcher shop with his father, André.

Customers are filling their freezers with fresh meat and other homemade products like sausages, tourtière and ragout.

Many customers are calling in their orders for pick-up.

The Ménards have also been busy with extra cleaning in the shop as a precaution against COVID-19.

Phil Frankow of Vankleek Hill is normally busy taking drone videos of properties for local realtors. The videos give prospective buyers to have a look online before going to see a property in person.

However, Eastern Ontario Drones is not considered an essential business and that has Frankow trying to find a way to keep his business flying.

With most people staying home right now, or only going a short distance when they do leave the house, Frankow has decided to use his drone to let those at home see local scenery they might not otherwise get to enjoy right now.  In partnership with The Review, he has produced a video of the Ottawa River ice breaking up and the scenic area around Confederation Park in Hawkesbury that is now live for everyone to see at https://youtu.be/nrGKLLBYVAc in the full-length version, or the abridged version at https://youtu.be/kcPvQbLwwsI .  Another video is being compiled of scenes in Grenville and Lachute.  Frankow’s complete Youtube channel can been seen at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpDeAsJpJmh8RRh3jezSTgQ/playlists

“I really just want to help people who are feeling the effects of the isolation,” Frankow said.

As for his business, Frankow said he is willing to partner with any business, especially those in Champlain Township, that are essential services in order to assist them and also carry on his business as long as the emergency closure order remains in effect.

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

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