in the workshop

Managing Expectations



When I was younger, I was a small child. Skinny, slower, shorter than the other boys. While I was hoping to grow to six feet tall, I maxed out at five-seven. I wanted broad shoulder and guns to blow out the armholes in my tee shirts. I wanted to be the smartest person in the room. Oh well.. luckily I learned to manage my expectations early in life. Of course, I still believe in myself and my abilities, that if I put my mind and energy into it, I can achieve many things. Just not everything I think I want exactly when I want it. Sometimes life has a way of altering our course.

This Covid world has existed for a little over eight months, from the initial public response and lockdown, to the present morass. The world has changed. We have changed. Our business has changed. While many people are crying out for things to return to normal, the future, however you envision it, is still a way off. The changes we've made for this year (18 months?) are structured to keep a steady course for running our business when things are good, like now, or in case things get rough. So far so good. The store as you may have known it is effectively gone. Our expanded production has enveloped some of the space while the rest is taken up with shipping. Online sales, both shipping and pickup, now account for 90% of our business. Good thing we are adapting because according to many forecast analysts, it is estimated that 95% of all purchases will be made online by 2040.

One of the reasons I prefer to shop online is due to a trend of bad customer service in stores and shops. I believe we do a great job of customer service at duross & langel. I believe Sarah and Allison do an exceptional job, as do our associates. But not every place I go seems to care about me as a customer, which is why I prefer to fill a cart online. I can manage my expectations about what I am receiving by limiting the disappointing experiences. Which is why we've always aimed to make your experience with D+L about relationships, ingredients, and creating a good feeling as you walk out the door. We want both your online and in-store experiences to be great.

As a business we have come far in these last eight months. We've learned a great deal about change. We know what we want from our future, and somehow it bears little resemblance to our past. This year has taught us to strive for a leaner, lighter enterprise. Keep expectations manageable. Don't panic. Don't over-react. Not a day goes by without someone expressing their disappointment that they cannot come inside and smell everything. We get it. Truly. It is disappointing that Covid 19 has created a situation where we cannot put things out for people to smell or touch. And change is difficult, especially when new things create a certain level of anxiety. Anxiety makes us all a little pissed off sometimes. Who would agree that 2020 has been an incredibly stressful year?

Personally, I get through the bad days living in my fantasy world. I would also like to be lying on a beach in Mexico right now. I have the vouchers and hotel points left over from last spring when everything got cancelled. I still have a job. Food. A home. I am so much luckier than a lot of people. Since I have immune compromised people within my circle, eighteen months of staying put, having things delivered and being mindful is a fairly easy undertaking. I also have a kick-ass beach plan for celebrating once a vaccine has been widely distributed. As for returning to normal? I don't know. I think that ship might have sailed. The world will have moved on and something better might take the place of the old normal. But that's life right? Embrace change and adapt or become obsolete. Whatever comes next, I dream about an amazing future filled with endless possibilities, and I am grateful for the past, the present, and for what good things might still lie ahead.

If you come by to shop at the window or pickup an online order, you can begin to view the new store we are building in the front area of the old store. It will grow and change over the next six or seven months so that when we open our doors again, you may enjoy a whole new shopping experience

Shopping the Store

It's Friday afternoon, almost 5PM. We are waiting for the UPS driver to pick up our last shipments and to hand off any pickup orders that ring the door bell. This is our new normal. All in all though, life is good.

Since the way we shopped duross & langel before Covid19 is not going to work in the short term, our best course of action is to continue to create a safe environment until all the kinks have been worked out. We thought about opening to shoppers, but there is no way for us to keep things sanitized. Since we all have compromised people within our circle, we've chosen to navigate our current status with a few upgrades.

Our new walk up window is currently up and running. If you are in the neighborhood and want to stop by, ring the bell between 11 and 4 PM Tuesday thru Saturday and we can hook you up instantly. We cannot accept cash so please bring a credit card or debit. Tap and pay is even better (so very 2020). You may also shop online for pickup or delivery. We are online 24/7 and you can choose your favorite products while you binge Netflix. Please text us with any questions and we will respond as quickly as possible.

Not everyone is digging the new normal. We get it. Completely. We are not thrilled either. But until such a time as we can let down our guard, this is how we will be moving forward. There will always be disagreements about choices. There will be disappointments. Hopefully, one day soon, we will throw open the doors and celebrate. Until then we will do what we believe is in everyone's best interest and try to make it as easy for you to shop as possible.

We miss you. Terribly. It gets lonely here without you. You are never far from our thoughts and prayers.

Steve, Sarah and Allison

staying covid safe

Though technically considered an essential business, we've made the choice to keep our doors locked and fulfill online orders only. We thought you might like to know our thinking.

Since the beginning of lockdown, Sarah, Allison and I have been keeping a safe distance from the world. We closed our doors for two weeks of isolation to be sure we were not in a position to pass along anything that we might have been exposed to in the weeks leading up to the national response. We kept to ourselves, to one another, and to our partners. This little circle insured us a fairly safe distancing protocol. As we came back to work, we have kept that social circle small. Other family members who were also in a two week isolation have been added to the circle while all precautions have remained in place. This is not out of fear or an over abundance of caution, it is simple math. If one of us should get sick, we must all be quarantined for at least 21 days. Financially, we don't know if we could ever recover. Like so many of our friends and neighbors, both personally and professionally, we are on the hook for rent, utilities, food, etc. What drives us during this pandemic is not profit, and we could not be more grateful for your support. It keeps us sane.

While we cannot hide from the virus, we can be smart. Inside our walls is a clean zone. Working within our circle at 117 S 13th Street is safe. The way we now choose to interface with the public is, for the moment, keeping everyone safe. This is our way of continuing to do business while making the majority of our customers feel comfortable.

There will always be disagreements about choices. There will be disappointments. When the stay at home order is rescinded, we will still be working behind a locked door. Since the way we all shopped duross & langel before Covid19 is not going to work in the short term, our best course of action is to continue to create a safe environment until all the kinks have been worked out. When that happens, we will throw open the doors and celebrate. Until then we will do what science tells us is in everyone's best interest.

We miss you. Terribly. It gets lonely without you. You are never far from our thoughts and prayers.