EASTON — One of the top locations for Marylanders and Delawareans to go to get their caffeine fixes announced a temporary closure because of the COVID-19 threat.
Rise Up Coffee Roasters decided on a temporary closure that began at 5 p.m., on Sunday, March 22. The closure includes all nine locations in Maryland and one location in Delaware.
"In a specific effort to keep our team healthy and to insure we're doing all we can for the health of our community, it has become clear that we must close our retail operations," a company Facebook post stated.
"As a company dedicated to service, you can imagine how difficult this decision was for us. However, removing our people from the front lines of COVID-19 is paramount and outweighs any other factor."
Local businesses have been responding in real time to the restrictions associated with COVID-19. Many of these restrictions and health dangers have forced business owners to make rapid decisions for the safety of their employees and businesses.
"To process this at a company level is one thing, but on the human level it is quite another," Tim Cureton, owner of Rise Up Coffee said.
Cureton was astonished at the level of support that his company received in the week that led up to the closure. The week prior to the closure announcement was "heartening and affirming" that the community has stuck with rise up, he said.
"That said, the risk for our people being on the front lines of this level of service was something that we couldn't endure any longer, and weighing the risk reward of it made it very clear to us that closing all of our cafes was the right thing to do," he said.
The company reported an "outpouring of love and support" from their customers after they announced the temporary closure on Sunday, March 22, according to a post on their Facebook page.
"Your coffee is the best I've ever had, hands down," posted Samantha Zopff on the company's Facebook page. "Thank you so much for caring about the community. Making a difficult decision for the benefit of all is deeply respected."
"People are really paying attention to how employers are treating their employees right now," Amanda Midgette, wrote in a Facebook post. "You guys are being so kind to them by removing them from the line of fire! I've never had a Rise Up coffee in my life but definitely will when you're back up and running."
The company will keep its online delivery options available to customers who can't go without. Customers are already moving online to make purchases.
"Went online to stock up until you're able to reopen, because starting the day with your coffee makes it so much better!" wrote Zopff in her post. "The espresso is so smooth and the crema is gorgeous!"
Rise Up also wanted to reward their local customers who have remained loyal during the closure.
"Given the abrupt nature of our announcement and knowing the daily disruption this decision will cause, we're offering 'Locals Only' discount for online orders placed by Maryland and Delaware residents," the post stated. Customers simply need to enter the coupon code 'LOCAL' to receive free shipping.
Rise Up Coffee Roasters has been an independent small-batch coffee roaster and retailer since March 2005.
Local competitors Starbucks and Dunkin' both are offering drive thru and take out services to customers. Some Dunkin' locations offer delivery.
Cureton is not sure when the stores will reopen, but he was optimistic about the thought.
"We are going to return just as soon as it is safe to do so," he said. "We can not wait to get to the other side of this – we can not wait to welcome back our customers into our cafe."
The company is still actively preparing online orders for their customers.