COCHRANE— A pair of Cochranites is looking to provide some relief to local businesses around town that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kari Lee and her sister-in-law Erica Thomson have teamed up with local businesses to create the Cochrane Delivery Box. The box includes one pizza kit from PZA Parlour, one bar of soap and one lip balm from Holly Berry Soaps, one coffee bag from Coffee Traders, one bag of candy from Horse Creek Heritage Candy and Gifts, one small potted plant from The Plant Place and one bag of loose leaf tea from Fireside Tea.
"We were both born and raised in Cochrane and had been talking for months about starting some sort of local delivery box but mostly just brainstorming ideas," Lee said, describing how the idea to create these boxes came about. "When COVID-19 hit and forced many people to isolate and businesses to mostly close and lose most of their regular traffic, we saw how much this hurt local businesses and saw some boxes in Calgary that were delivering local goods. We decided to actually get started with our idea by putting together a list of local businesses and items that would work in a box and started contacting them."
Thomson said the stores chosen were companies the duo had regularly been in contact with prior to the pandemic while also trying to give customers a well-rounded mix of local products.
"We wanted to make a box that Cochranites would universally appreciate," Thomson said. "For our next boxes though we plan on contacting new businesses so we can support as many different local companies as possible while still keeping our boxes well rounded with high-quality products."
Thomson also added that sales have been going well so far for the boxes being priced at $75 each.
"Logistically we sell our boxes in different rounds, so as of now we've completed one round and are launching our second round at the end of April that will be delivered on May 9, just before Mother's Day," she said.
"We had no idea what to expect and we've been really happy with the response from our local businesses and the support from our community. We see this as something that can potentially continue to grow as we get the word out to more people."
Both Thomson and Lee said it's greatly important for the community to stick together during a time of need and that it's equally important to continue supporting local businesses during the COVID-19 public health measures.
"It's extremely important that we stick together," Lee said. "In this situation, no one can travel, and most people are rarely leaving their houses or neighbourhoods so the community is more important than ever to know that we can help take care and comfort those around us— We actually sold quite a few boxes as gifts that we attached notes to in our first round from people who couldn't get together for coffee or visit with their friends anymore and it was really touching to see the reactions of people who received one of our boxes as a gift when the recipient wasn't expecting anything."
Thomson added, "In Cochrane and our surrounding areas there are so many local businesses that make amazing products and we want to help alleviate any financial strain we can during this unprecedented time. Communities are defined and differentiate themselves by their residents and local businesses so our goal is that by coming together as a community, people will choose to shop local whenever they can and we can help protect the livelihood of our local businesses for the future."
The duo is in the process of creating a website but those interested in purchasing a box can find them on Facebook or Instagram under Cochrane Delivery Box. People can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.