May 4, 2020
Can you believe we're closing in on almost 2 months from when things started to get pretty heavy here in New York with the COVID-19 pandemic?
Thank you for your support!
I must say the absolute outpouring of support for our little small business has been astounding! We truly can't thank you enough for trusting us with all of your gardening needs and for allowing us to be your go to resource center. We have seen so many of you come through our doors in the past several weeks and that has been heart warming. For that, I'd like to express my sincere gratitude!
While that has us all feeling excited, I’d be lying if I said we weren’t bursting at the seams to keep up with it all. As a result of the pandemic, we continue to be pretty understaffed. A number of our staple employees are currently unable to join us and we’re stretched quite thin trying to keep up with the sheer volume of customers coming through our door every day. Rest assured we're not letting that deter us, we continue to order more of everything you love and we have new flowers, plants, vegetables, herbs, trees & shrubs arriving daily.
Temporarily postponing delivery & curbside pickup orders
Unfortunately, after taking everything into consideration, we’ve had to make the difficult decision to temporarily postpone taking delivery & pickup orders. Our original goal was to be as accommodating as possible to our local community by offering the ability to continue to get your gardening necessities even while you were on quarantine. Boy were you all willing to take us up on the offer :)
As hard as we’ve been working to keep up with the demand in the store, we’ve had to work twice as hard to keep up with the demand for phone and email orders and we've certainly encountered some bumps and bruises along the way. That makes us a little nervous. I know we’re going to disappoint some of you by not being able to accommodate your delivery or pickup orders in the short term but I truly believe we would be disappointing more of you over the longer term if we continued to try to take those orders and we weren't able to process them in a timely manner. The very last thing we want to do is provide a poor experience that has the potential to disappoint our valuable customers.
If you can join us here at the store, we welcome you to do so
We understand that not all of you can join us in person right now and we just ask for your understanding on this decision. We want to be certain that we're providing the best customer experience around, as we always have. Once things stabilize a little bit, we'd love to ramp the delivery and pickup options up again but, in the meantime, we welcome you to visit us at the store. We have 4 beautiful acres and plenty of space to walk around comfortably and our staff continues to do everything we can to make sure we’re operating in a safe environment.
If you're stuck at home, let's stay connected
If you are stuck at home, we're going to continue posting educational content for you to read, watch and enjoy. You can always find educational articles on our blog and we're going to continue to post videos of our educational talks on our YouTube channel for your viewing pleasure.
To reiterate...as always, if you stop by and see us at the store, we guarantee that your experience will be the best there is. It hasn't been easy getting back to all of your messages but if you do come see us at the store, we’ll be able to answer all of your questions immediately.
With that, I'd like to close by thanking our entire staff who has been working tirelessly for the past 6 weeks and who continue to represent the Decker's Nursery brand with passion and excitement. Without them, and without you, we realize we would not be here.
As always, if you have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out. We're more than happy to help however we can but, again, please be patient as it may take a little bit for us to get back to you.
Thank you again for your continued support. It means the world to us and we look forward to seeing you soon!
March 26, 2020
Phew…another crazy week! As expected, the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve at a rapid pace with new expectations, requirements and state imposed mandates coming at us almost daily. I mentioned it last week but we’re taking everything day-by-day and evaluating each scenario as best as we can.
Let me start with some positive news…the state government recently deemed “agricultural” businesses exempt from many of the recent mandates so we are grateful to have our doors open. We’re maintaining our normal operating schedule of 9am to 6pm Monday through Saturday and 9am to 5pm on Sunday. We continue to operate with the intention of providing a safe and healthy environment for everyone and we have 4 acres of open space to roam our beautiful nursery yard.
With everything changing so quickly, I did want to share some of the adjustments that we're making to ensure we're doing our part and keeping everyone safe during these trying times.
We've received a number of questions about the status of our scheduled events. While we'd love to continue to host them in the store, for the safety of everyone, we're going to temporarily postpone all of our in-store events that would attract a large gathering of people. However! And I say this with a lot of excitement, we're doing everything we can to keep the educational content coming because it's a core part of our business.
By that, I mean, we're making investments into technology that will allow us to bring all of our scheduled in-person events online. This is an exciting transition for us and is something we've been looking to do for a while now. Very soon you will be able to join us live online and participate in our educational events right from the comfort of your own home. We plan to live stream our seminars and allow ample time for questions and answers - just as if you were sitting here at the nursery. No doubt it will take us a little bit to get it right but we're looking forward to offering it as an option. When the dust starts to settle, we'll certainly open the events back up for in person attendance but we do plan to offer these events online indefinitely. Once the live stream is over, we'll also make the recording available to watch on your own time.
For those of you who RSVP'd to this weekends seed starting event. We will not be able to live stream this particular event but we will be recording Pams talk and making it available online for all to watch. If you're interested in receiving a link to that recording, just let us know and we'll make sure to send it your way when it's available. You can also subscribe to our new YouTube Channel if that's your thing: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFYrIqzkuPsPEWV1VidPK5w. If there is an interest, we may also reschedule this event to make it available as a live stream so please let us know.
Local Delivery & Curbside Pickup
We're expanding our ability to offer same day delivery for orders place by 2pm and next day delivery for all others. We're also happy to provide curbside pickup for orders. If you'd rather not come in the store, you're welcome to let us know and we can meet you at your car, or, we can deliver your products directly to you.
Online Customer Support
We're ramping up our online customer support capabilities to make it easier for everyone to reach us. You're welcome to reach out via our website, Facebook, Instagram, Phone and text message (coming soon). Please be patient with us as we get all of this moving but we want to make sure it's easy for you to contact us.
Over the past several months we've been working to make our inventory available for viewing online so that you can see what we have in the store. That's still a work in progress but we're currently working diligently to open up the ability to purchase products online and pick those products in the store. Eventually, we also hope to allow you to choose to have your order delivered locally.
In Store Safety
Every morning we have an all hands meeting to reiterate the importance of keeping our environment clean and sanitary. It's not lost on us that if, at any point, one of our employees or customers gets sick that we will be required to take action and shut our doors. As a small business, just about to head into our busy season, that would be a big deal. We are doing everything in our power to prioritize the health and well being of our team, our community and our customers and you can rest assured that we will continue to do so as long as necessary.
There's no doubt that this pandemic is putting a lot of stress on everyone, especially small businesses, but we're doing everything in our power to adapt and overcome. We certainly continue to welcome you to come visit us in person but if you need anything from us to prepare for your visit, please don't hesitate to reach out and let us know.
Thank you for your continued support and patience and we look forward to seeing you soon!
March 20, 2020
It's been a crazy week. As I write, countries are closing their borders to "flatten the curve". Italians cannot drink their espresso at their corner bar, cyclists are at risk of being fined in Spain, and even the London marathon has been postponed. Here in New York, it feels just as chaotic but if this is what is needed to keep everyone safe and healthy, we support it.
This is uncharted territory for most of us and announcements are happening so fast. We're doing our best to stay on top of the constantly evolving situation and making the health of our staff, customers and community our first priority. We are taking numerous precautions to maintain a safe and healthy environment for everyone that visits Decker's Nursery.
There's no denying that this is an incredibly difficult situation for all small businesses. Shutting their doors for an unknown amount of time could be incredibly difficult for any business to bounce back from. So, if you find yourself with an opportunity to do so, I implore you to support your local small businesses. Order from your favorite local restaurant, coffee shops and bakeries. Of course, be safe - but let's all do our best to support what is so important to us. There's no doubt that our community will need it.
At Decker's Nursery, we've thought long and hard about the best way to handle the situation and we think we have a relatively unique opportunity to support our community. We've decided to keep our doors open and allow anyone who feels inclined to come enjoy the beautiful nursery yard to do so. With 4 acres of outdoor space, we feel that there's plenty of opportunity to keep suitable distance while enjoying some of the natural surroundings we all love. If you are wary of physically being in the store, we're more than happy to bring your plants and supplies directly to your home. Our staff will assist with putting your order together and most orders can be delivered the same day if placed before 2PM.
Now, I have some unfortunate news. While we welcome everyone to the nursery yard with open arms (from a distance!), we've decided that in order to keep everyone safe, organizing large gatherings are likely not in anyone's best interest. As a result, we're going to be postponing our "Native Plants" event that we had scheduled for Saturday. We received an incredible response to the event so it was a hard decision to make but it feels like the right one at this time.
In lieu of the event, however, we've decided to offer what we believe to be a suitable alternative. We're going to call this Saturday "Native Plant Appreciation Day" at Decker's Nursery. It's completely made up and likely won't be on a calendar any time soon but we figure it's a good opportunity to continue our mission of providing educational resources to those who are interested in them. We won't be holding our originally planned seminar but we will still have Rusty Schmidt joining us. Rusty is the president of The Long Island Native Plant Initiative and has graciously offered to hang around for the day and show off some of our new native plant offerings, answer any questions you may have and explain the role that you can play in rebuilding our local environments with native plants. If you're feeling up to it, please come join us at any point throughout the day on Saturday. We'll be here for our normal operating hours (9am - 6pm). There will be plenty of room for keeping distance while still getting the opportunity to be outside and learn something that is great for our environment, which, seems kind of fitting at the moment.
As far as our other scheduled events, we'll be evaluating each of those on a case-by-case basis. This situation is changing daily so we'll adjust however necessary and we'll be sure to keep you apprised of those updates as we have them!
From everyone here at Decker's Nursery. We sincerely appreciate the support and all of the kind words you've been sharing lately. Thank you for the continued support of us - and of all of your local small businesses. We hope to see you on Saturday - or any day that you feel you would like to stop by!