Front Porch Coffee and Bakery has endured the trying times brought on by COVID-19 and now plans to open its doors Friday.
Following Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to allow the stay-at-home order to expire Thursday, restaurants, stores, malls and theaters are allowed to reopen to 25% capacity.
For Front Porch’s owner Zach Sheets, it’s an opportunity to continue pouring love onto his customers during the pandemic.
“There’s no doubt that just wanting to be respectful of others and want to make sure that we do everything in our power to prevent the spread of the virus,” Sheets said. “but we also want to serve people well and love people well during this time.”
Sheets has decided to retain his entire staff despite a financial decline in profits. Over the past six weeks, the Front Porch has focused on serving the community with carry-out orders. Now they finally can prepare to serve orders inside.
“We are having a company come in that does sanitation,” Sheets said. “We’ve already been cleaning the space regularly, and we’re also going to have appropriate spacing of tables. Honestly, we were already very intentional about cleanliness and sanitation in the kitchen. A lot of the safe practices that we already had implemented in our kitchen just carried over.”
He also said that they plan on utilizing outdoor seating as much as they can.
While he said that the Front Porch is better off than many other restaurants and “self-sustainable”, they have faced their own hardships.
“Starting with love and compassion and to do the right thing has been so difficult from the beginning to deal with the unknowns,” Sheets said. “Not knowing all the information at hand to make good decisions has been tough. For us, it’s been about trusting our governor and his executive orders.”
During the Coronavirus pandemic and all of the uncertainties that have transpired because of it, Sheets is thankful he gets to see the Abilene community every day.
“I feel like this community has been so supportive with everything,”Sheets said. “It really is great to see. Despite the challenges, we want to spread as much joy and happiness during this time as possible.”