Small Business Thriving in COVID Economy

Small Business Thriving in COVID Economy

Kitty Alvarado Connect

When the pandemic hit in March, Mark Van Laanen, the owner of On The Mark Fine Foods and Provisions thought his three-year-old gourmet market and deli in Downtown Palm Springs was done for, “Oh my God, I thought, oh my God, we’re going to have to close our business.

He said his landlord calmed his fears and told him to take it one day at a time. 

He says he did just that, and also thought he should talk to his customers. Especially because Van Laanen thought, gourmet foods would not be on the typical pandemic need list.

“We reached out to see what people were looking for: milk, eggs, rice, beans, flower, yeast, so we were able to incorporate that all into the store all with our other fine products,” says Van Laanen. 

As time passed … 

“We’re able to pay our rent, great, okay, wow, I‘m able to pay my employees, great, wow, I‘m able to order more product, great,” says Van Laanen adding he noticed his business wasn’t just surviving but thriving. 

“Our walking traffic, even during the COVID has doubled … I had to hire two more people,” he says.

Customers, local and out of town folks, keep coming back. 

During a time when an estimated 100 thousand businesses have closed for good Van Laanen is grateful he can count on that love and support. 

“I just want to thank everyone from my heart, I mean I am just truly, overwhelmed and humbled,” says Van Laanen.

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