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Our Response to COVID-19

Posted on April 29 2020

Howl Mercantile & Coffee is committed to ensuring that our COVID-19 planning, preparedness and response are a priority.  We are focusing our efforts on supporting the safety of our employees, our customers and our community.  On this page we will provide updates as quickly as possible regarding our current policies.  We thank you for your patience as we all learn how to navigate our new normal and meet the needs of you, our customers and our business.  

On March 15, 2020, as the novel coronavirus was taking hold in Colorado, our family was driving back home to Salida from Denver.  We were surprised by how much traffic was coming to our little corner of the mountains and when we got to town, Howl and restaurants were BUSY! This was a big contrast to Denver where restaurants were dead and there was barely any traffic.  We quickly made the decision to close Howl on March 16 to help our community flatten the curve.  We knew that by remaining open, there would be a reason for people to be out and about spreading the virus.  As you know, on March 25, Governor Polis issued a Stay at Home order for Colorado and we all settled into life during a Pandemic.  Admittedly, life in Salida was both great and frustrating.  It was great for physical distancing because it's pretty easy to get away from people and get some exercise.  But it was also very frustrating due to many people in our community that either believe the virus is "fake news" or individuals (including local elected government officials) that thought our civil liberties were more important than enforcing the Stay at Home orders.  Frustrations aside, we found new ways of living that were quite refreshing.  One local restaurant set up a food co-op so we could avoid the grocery store.  A friend that works at a cattle ranch delivered local grass-fed beef to us.  Carmel and I revived old hobbies and made productive use of our time.  Alex got to work from home rather than take his weekly commute to Denver.  Overall, we made the best of it.

Now, it's April 29 and in just a couple days (May 1) we will be opening Howl for Sidewalk Pick-up.  Honestly, we feel conflicted about this reopening.  We feel excited to be back in the shop with all of the yummy smells, pretty things and super excited to see or customers but we also feel scared.  We don't want to get sick and we don't want you to get sick.  But with that said, this cautiousness will make us mindful.  We feel very confident with our protocols,

  • We've been given our "Safe Business Certificate" by Chaffee County Public Health 
  • We will be monitoring the health and well-being of the staff every day by taking temperatures and doing self-checks
  • We've procured a shit-ton of hand sanitizer for us and you
  • Masks, alcohol and bleach are our new best friends
  • All ice cream and beverages will be served in to-go containers


Our Current Store Hours are: Sunday - Saturday 9a - 4p.

We miss you and are extremely excited to see you!  We do ask 4 things from you before you come and see us.  1.) Wear a mask!  Unfortunately, we cannot serve you unless you're wearing a mask.  2.) Visit us healthy!  3.) Order Ahead (this will help us with contactless payments) 4.) If you would like to shop inside the Mercantile, please ask us.  Use hand sanitizer before entering the shop. We are allowing 1 - 3 people inside to shop at a time.  We have segmented the shop into sections and we expect you to keep 6 feet physical distance from other people.

Our hearts are filled with gratitude for all of the support we received during the closure.  You kept our business moving forward with your purchases of gift cards, online orders and words of love and encouragement and for that we thank you 💗


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