Local businesses committed to help

Kara Conklin (left) and Jacob Slocum, employees at Bun Appetit Bakery on Main Street, ready to serve the public with pickup orders.
Kara Conklin (left) and Jacob Slocum, employees at Bun Appetit Bakery on Main Street, ready to serve the public with pickup orders.
Photo by Linda Competillo

While it is certainly clear that our nation, states, cities, towns and villages, including our own Groton, are consumed with how we cope with Covid-19 and all its ramifications. The ways in which “Groton Pride” rises up to meet this challenge head-on are clearer still.

I am personally proud beyond words of our school district and its employees for the countless ways they have mobilized to ensure that our students are fed, not just physically and educationally, but also emotionally, in so many instances.

It seems most are aware of what is happening with the school, but I took some time this past weekend to find out how some of our local Groton businesses are faring, in order to raise awareness of what and where things the public may need can be found.

Thankfully, at least at the time of this writing, shortly after New York state’s mandatory closure of non-essential businesses at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 22, most of the places in the village of Groton that are deemed essential have plans in place to do their best to accommodate the needs in our community.
I spoke with Jodi Metcalf, owner of the Bun Appetit Bakery on Main Street.

As depicted on a sign on the bakery’s storefront, “stressed is desserts spelled backwards,” there is indeed a plethora of sweet confections available there every day, but you may not have thought about some of the other options Metcalf offers.

Homemade soups, hot and cold sandwiches, fresh bread and baked goods, and macaroni, potato and pasta salads, as well as sliced deli meat and cheese, may all be purchased at the bakery daily, as well as fresh-brewed coffee.

Metcalf intends to stay open with all orders to go, with her staff maintaining proper sanitation guidelines daily, for as long as customers continue to come.

“Despite all the hysteria, my staff and I would like to thank everyone for their support, smiles and positive energy when stopping by Bun Appetit,” Metcalf said. “We as a team are going to continue to give you the same great service we always have. Just remember this too shall pass.”

One of Metcalf’s employees, Kara Conklin, 2018 Groton alumna, said she is “just taking this day by day.” Conklin said things have not been as busy as usual, but “people are still coming, mostly to buy bread because they can’t find it anywhere else.”

Jacob Slocum, 2016 Groton alumnus, works part time at the bakery. He said he is grateful he still has a full-time day job in a warehouse but is also committed to helping at Bun Appetit when needed.

Metcalf said the bakery’s hours will be posted on Facebook daily, as they will change due to customer needs. Call 607-898-4162 for placing to go orders or with any questions.

Walpole’s Variety Store also falls under the essential business category, due to the “wine and spirits” component of the establishment, but there are a few other “hidden gems” at Walpole’s that may come in handy.

Farm-fresh brown eggs are available for $2 a dozen, and goose eggs for $4 each, directly from Walpole’s Farm. They also offer 10-pound bags of ice and laundry service through Cornell laundry. One may drop laundry off on Tuesday and pick up the following Tuesday.

Owner Bob Walpole would like the community to know that they will remain open every day, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

Main Street Pizzeria also remains open for pickup or delivery only. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 4 to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Owner Dale Dickey would like everyone to know that pizza is always available but that submarine sandwiches might be limited due to lack of bread supply.

Dickey suggests visiting the website, mainstreetpizzeria.com, to view the menu, then call 607-898-5866 to place your order but have alternate items in mind in case they will have run out of certain items when you call. They deliver within a five-mile radius, and there is a $3 delivery fee.

Pizza is also available at Hometown Pizzeria (formerly Mark’s), as well as chicken wings, calzones, salads, pasta dishes, burgers, subs, French fries and several other deep-fried delights.

Their website is Grotonpizza.com, where you can view the menu. You may also order and pay online. For those who wish to call their orders in, the number is 607-898-3227.

Their hours for pickup are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. They deliver to Groton, Freeville and Locke with a $4 delivery fee.

Matt Winters, owner, told me things have been a bit slower lately than they normally are, but he is confident in his supply distributors and plans to continue to keep his full menu going every day.

“We’re here for whatever you need,” Winters said.

He is very concerned and committed to being available in any way he can for the community.

Winters also wants Groton to know that he has access to things via his supply distributors that many are lacking in these trying times we are all going through, such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other necessities.

“If you or someone you know is truly housebound and can’t get out themselves, please call me and I will help,” he said. “My distributors have been great.”

These are just some examples of what makes Groton great, and I will continue to do my best to bring you the latest notable news as we all navigate what is uncharted territory for most of us in the days ahead.

Groton on the Inside appears weekly. Submit news ideas to Linda Competillo, lmc10@cornell.edu or 607-227-4922.

In brief:
Groton Fire Department news
To do its part to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Groton Fire Department is suspending any non-fire department activities held at the fire station, including any use of the upstairs meeting room.

This suspension will tentatively go until the middle of April. Those who use the station or are planning to use it will be contacted, and the GFD apologizes for the inconvenience.

GFD Chief Ben Nelson would like to remind everyone that if you do call 9-1-1 in need of services, please relay to them if you have had any symptoms such as fever, cough or other flu-like symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone who has.

Please also advise them if you or someone you have been in contact with has traveled to any of the “hot spot” countries. The smallest detail can make a world of difference.
Attend church online
While the congregation at Groton Assembly of God is unable to meet in person at the church building, it is conducting a weekly service online at 11 a.m. each Sunday for the foreseeable future while waiting for COVID-19 to dissipate.

For those who may have tuned in on Sunday, March 22 and experienced audio issues, those have been addressed and should not pose any issues going forward.

All are welcome to join this unique method of “gathering” as a praise and worship segment is broadcast from one home, followed by a sermon given by Pastor Sam Neno from his home and a children’s church segment broadcast from Pastor Sharon Newman’s home.

Find them at youtube.com/channel/UCl9Mo_oNro7fhC3qT4-ntNQ/live or search for Groton Assembly of God on Facebook.
Groton Food Pantry
The Groton Food Pantry will continue to be held on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Coordinator Jess Stone asks participants come only during your scheduled time to minimize any potential threat of spreading COVID-19 or any other sickness.


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