Norterra businesses fight pandemic, adapt

Some businesses in northern Phoenix have taken the brunt of the pandemic head-on and appear to be doing it on the other side as the Arizona governor eased occupancy limits statewide.

Earlier this month, Gov. Doug Ducey announced he would rescind previous executive orders that limited the number of people who can be in a business at any given time.

The owner of Crumbl Cookies at the Shops at Norterra takes advantage. Sydney Herring opened her store, 2450 W. Happy Valley Road Suite 1151, in April 2020, just as the pandemic was starting.

“We were lucky enough in this situation,” Ms. Herring said. “Even during the pandemic, people loved coming for cookies. It is a happy place for them at a time of so much uncertainty.

“One thing to think about that a lot of companies did was try to adapt and be understanding. Everyone was having heartache. We try to accommodate some requests and donate when we can in the health field. “

Last year, executives at Mellow Mushroom shut down the business on March 17 and strictly switched to a 100% take-out model.

Keith Correa, district manager for Mellow Mushroom at 2490 W. Happy Valley Road, said he waited a week after the governor’s orders not to allow food services in restaurants. The chain has five Valley pizzerias.

Mr. Correa said he wanted to know which methods were most effective and which were ineffective. Since then, take-out sales have more than doubled. The restaurant’s curbside service, which was instituted in 2020, has also been a success.

“I wanted to see what the others were doing,” he said.

Mr Correa said business “was behind” last year’s figures, but said he hoped the pizzeria can catch up and keep pace.

Norterra businesses have received help.

Dan Dahl, real estate director at YAM, said officials had worked with tenants to develop innovative ideas such as hosting drive-in movie nights in the mall. Officials touted take-out services from tenants at the downtown restaurant.

YAM Properties owns and operates over 12 properties in the metro area. The company is a Scottsdale-based real estate investment and development group made up of Bob Parsons, the founder of GoDaddy, who has branched out since the sale of the company into various businesses, including real estate.

Mr Dahl said his group has helped maximize outdoor space and opened up previously closed roads to allow convenient access to restaurant pickup. His team has also designated nearby parking spaces for driver efficiency.

The YAM Properties team also took to social media to help potential clients shop at Norterra and Westgate, another property owned by the company, and let clients know they were open, said Mr. Dahl.

“Social media has been a lifeline for many as they have been able to adapt quickly to difficulties and deliver messages that could be aimed at supporting the bottom line,” Dahl said. “At Westgate in particular, we’ve tried to keep things as ‘fun’ as they could be. We hosted a free virtual Easter egg hunt, fitness classes and more. We wanted our community to know that we are always there as a bright light – living up to our slogan: ‘Westgate, where the fun happens’. “

YAM Properties has added more than 30 tenants to various commercial properties in recent months, according to a press release earlier this month.

Ms Herring said her landlord had helped with rent for “a month or two,” but the business had not needed to take out small business loans during the pandemic. She said business was good.

Now Ms. Herring is looking to open an additional location.

“So busy and so good,” Ms. Herring said. “The holidays are always a busy time of the year with parties, gifts, gatherings, etc. We love it! ”




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