Quitman businesses ready to reopen their doors soon

By Larry Tucker
Posted 4/29/20

Several Quitman area businesses are happy for the opportunity to reopen.

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Quitman businesses ready to reopen their doors soon


Several Quitman area businesses are happy for the opportunity to reopen.

Cheyenne Gage, owner of S’more Trails is looking forward to opening her doors. “We have not had regular hours at all. I’ve been utilizing social media through Facebook and Instagram. I have been able to conduct business that way,” Gage explained. “A lot of business we got was from people commenting what they would want and we were able to invoice them, take payments and then I would ship it to them. We were able to do delivery and curbside as well. That is how I’ve been able to do my business during the shutdown.”

Gage’s store capacity is up to 36 people and with the new order, she can have nine people at a time in the store. “I can also go back to doing appointments. Once the county judge gave the orders we completely locked the door, but we still were able to do shipping and delivery,” Gage said. “The new order will definitely allow me to re-open my doors and just keep the number of customers in the store to the minimum of 25 percent.” 

G&S Sales General manager B.J. Steele said, “We have been so busy we can’t get caught up. Literally, our sales have tripled over the last 30 days. I have a help wanted sign out front and I am not getting any response.” Steele said. “Even our wholesale people are changing their delivery routes because they are experiencing the same kind of rush.”

Scott Dunson of Quitman True Value Hardware Store agreed with Steele.

“It has affected us in a way I would have never expected. Our sales have more than doubled. Our business has been really good during all of this,” Dunson said. “I have hired two more people. We try to buy lunch from a different Quitman business every day because we want to support locally too. With the warmer weather people are doing a lot more of their own vegetables. It’s really been across the board with our sales. We are here to support the community in any way we can. If there is anything anyone needs we are here for them.”

Jan Gorman of Jan’s Restaurant and Grill on the square in Quitman is hoping for better days ahead.

“The to-go business has not been great, but it has been OK. We really appreciate everyone who has come to visit us during this time,” Gorman remarked. “You have your good days and then there are those days you wonder why you even opened. It’s not even about that, it’s about giving back to this community that has given so much to us. We have done a lot for the police and fire department when we can. We have given to the hospital, cookies and things like that.”

Gorman said they are ready for customers. “We already have our tables six feet apart. We are probably going to check temperatures before folks come in, not being mean, just being safe. Our employees will be wearing masks and we will have sanitizer everywhere,” Gorman added. “We are going to make sure it is safe for the customer and for us.”

Brad Cobern, owner of the Red Dome in Quitman and Uncle Bubba’s in Mineola, is ready to open things up.

“We have been running fairly good, nothing like normal, and I am about 50 percent down in both stores,” he said. “We have been very blessed. We have our drive-through and we are going to continue doing delivery. Even when we get back to full operation we will continue delivery because some people just don’t need to get out and we want to serve them too. We are going to be able to bring 100 percent of our people back. At 25 percent, we can have 44 people in the restaurant at Red Dome.”

At Milano’s Pizza, owner Lance White expressed thanks for his customers. “I can’t even say how much we appreciate the people of Quitman and Wood County for letting us serve them. I also want to thank the other businesses in town,” White related. “Everybody in Quitman is a family and we all try to help each other when we can. Customers have been super generous, even on pick-up orders people have been leaving tips for my employees and that has helped. I am blessed to have been able to keep all my employees through this tough time.”

Kelly Kieke from the Speakeasy Coffee Shop said, “Actually we have been doing better than I expected. My place has a different personality; people are used to coming and going. It is not so much of a huge change in people’s routine for people to come and go from the coffee shop. We are trying to be creative and give people a different option. People are taking advantage of the box lunches and some businesses are buying for their employees, especially those who are on the front lines.”