How businesses cope with COVID-19.

Englewood, Florida

By Staff Writers

Published in the Englewood Sun

June 24, 2020 Updated June 28, 2020

It’s been a few weeks since many “non-essential” retail businesses were allowed to reopen as part of Florida’s Phase 2 response to the COVID-19 pandemic on June 5.

Many business owners are trying different measures to get customers to relax and shop, as long as they do it safely. Here’s how some businesses, including some that have been open during Phase 1 in March, are coping and coming back.

Kaen Tyree, owner of Ivy's on Dearborn, left, looks at a mask with Dee Dee Quinn.  Sun Photo by Elaine Allen-Emrich
Kaen Tyree, owner of Ivy's on Dearborn, left, looks at a mask with Dee Dee Quinn. Sun Photo by Elaine Allen-Emrich

Ivy’s on Dearborn

Anyone entering Ivy on Dearborn, 446 W. Dearborn St., must wear a mask — or is given one. “I’ve had customers say they don’t want to wear a mask, and I offer them one while they are shopping,” said owner Karen Tyree. “I’m not going to sacrifice my employee’s health and safety for a buck. Wearing masks helps prevent the spread of this awful disease.” They also sell printed, two-ply cotton (washable) masks. Two dressing rooms are open. Each piece of clothing that is tried on is sprayed and held a day if the customer doesn’t buy it.

Barefoot Trader

The Barefoot Trader, 2025 N. Beach Road, is a shop visited by thousands of tourists and locals each year. When people come to Englewood Beach, tourists love to browse inside Barefoot Trader. After COVID-19 shut down beaches, the store was like a ghost town.

However, customers have returned. Some new changes include only 15 customers in the store at a time. When they enter, they are greeted by an employee with hand sanitizer. They are asked to wear a mask if they want. Masks are also sold there.

If a customer tries on clothing but doesn’t buy it, the items are put in a box with strong ultraviolet lights. “I worked at a hospital and we used UV lights to clean rooms in between patients,” said a manager Hannah Shressler. “We do that here with clothing that people try on and don’t buy. Then we are able to put it back on the rack. We also limit the amount of clothing that can be tried on at a time. We want people to enjoy their experience in our store, but to be safe.”

Rhoads Produce

There’s Plexiglas barrier separating customers from employees at the checkout counter at this produce market. Social distancing is posted at the line and inside the open-air building, 210 N Indiana Ave. Since COVID-19, they offer curbside pickup and ($5) delivery service in Englewood, Cape Haze and Rotonda. Employees sanitize the building throughout the day. For more information, call Jessica 941-276-0234.

Michael Douglass Plumbing

Since COVID-19, plumbers at Mike Douglass Plumbing wear booties, masks, gloves and sometimes will even remove their shoes before entering customer’s homes. “My employees welcomed it, these new changes. We want to make sure they are doing the right stuff, too,” said owner Doug Curtis. “It also makes the customers feel secure knowing we are taking all kinds of precautions.”

Curtis bought hand sanitizer from the local Rotary Club for all of his employees to use.

Irving’s Ice cream

Irving’s Ice Cream, 405 W. Dearborn St., has spaced the outdoor seating area so customers can socially distance while eating a cone or sipping an espresso.

Vino Loco

Only about 10 tables are on the patios from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays and noon to 8 p.m. on Fridays. Nothing larger than a four-top is seated. They’ve redone the rear patio so customers can sit safely and comfortably. No inside dining. Customers are asked to make reservations: 941-473-8466 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Signing the pledge

The Old Englewood Village Association asked all of the businesses along West Dearborn Street to sign a pledge to stop the spread of the coronavirus. They’ve encouraged owners to practice physical distancing, wear facial masks whenever distancing is not possible, conduct daily temperature checks for all employees, provide hand sanitizer at all entrances and exits, follow CDC cleaning protocols, implement contactless payment when possible and implement COVID-19 awareness training for all employees.

Staff writers Elaine Allen-Emrich, Sue Erwin and Brianna Kwasnik contributed to this story.

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