Kimberly Holt, owner of Pandora’s Pies in downtown Elon, said her decision to close early during hurricane weather meant she would lose business on one of the busiest weekends of the year for the safety of her employees.
Holt said Pandora’s Pies suffered a power outage on Friday morning, resulting in late opening hours. But after power was restored, she called for a complete shutdown to allow staff living further away to go home earlier and avoid Ian’s worst weather conditions.
“Some parents are still like, ‘What do you mean you closed early?'” Holt said. “You all came here in a hurricane, but the safety of my employees is more important than making money.”
Despite having to close early, Holt reported sales figures on Oct. 1. 1 Similar to the business she saw on family weekends in previous years.
This is also in line with other businesses in downtown Elon. Chris Brumbaugh, owner of The Root and TANGENT Eat + Bar, wrote in an email to Elon News Network that his business has not been seriously affected.
“Both locations were nearly full during this year’s opening hours,” Brumbo wrote. “There are many other factors, but the final numbers are similar to previous years.”
In addition to Pandora, two other businesses in downtown Elon — TANGENT Eat + Bar and Barnes & Noble — were without power due to the hurricane. Holt said she would like the university to communicate more directly with her. While she has dealt with hurricanes and winter storms before, Holt has never experienced this at a special event.
“For Elon, the decision won’t be made until Friday afternoon when people’s parents are in town or on their way to town, and if Elon can make a decision earlier in the week, that would be great,” Holt said. That would be great.”
Holt said earlier decisions would influence her decision to buy extra products to deal with the family weekend crowd. Now, she’s left with a plethora of supplies and perishables, but says she still feels lucky that downtown Elon hasn’t been without power for longer.
“I’m thankful it’s only been on the air for three hours. If it’s closed for the whole day, I’d be missing a lot of product in the walk-in store that was just delivered Friday morning,” Holt said. “We definitely have a lot of stuff to prepare. We have a lot of extra stuff and now we have to figure out what to do with it, so we don’t waste it because we think we’ll use it.”