Close to Home

I love Vanille Patisserie, and I am sure I mentioned them in this blog at least a dozen times. I love their European-quality pastries and cakes and their macaroons. One of their stores is located on the lower level of the Ogilvie station, and in the times of peace, I stopped there to pick up treats for both office and home. I ordered their amazing pies for two Thanksgivings in a row. I ordered Mom’s birthday cake from them. Last time I was in the city, I got a big box of macaroons from them to give to my eye doctor and her staff.

They were always great. They called me when they were making my mom’s cake to double-check all the details, and a week later they called to ask how everything was, and whether mom liked the cake.
When the quarantine started, they left only one store opened, had not more than twp customers in the store at a time, and extended their delivery options. They came up with so many funny and thoughtful quarantine specials.

I sent Vlad and Dylon their “Where is Lori Lightfoot” cake. I sent alphabet macaroons set to Nadia. I sent money to their Meal Donation program: you can buy meals for first responders, and the shop with add a couple more. I didn’t have any preference, where to send, and they emailed me two days before they were going to deliver “my” donation, that it will go to the UIC nurses. They asked whether I wanted to attach a personal message, and I replied – of cause!

May 8th was supposed to be a day of free delivery to the North-West Suburbs, and I ordered a bunch of things for our V-Day/Mother’s Day, including some frozen stuff. And then on May 6th, I received an email:

=============

Dear Friends, 

Out of abundance of caution, Vanille will be closed for the next two weeks effective immediately. 

Since early March, Vanille has been vigilant about minimizing hand-to-hand contact, maintaining frequent and extensive in-store cleaning practices, wearing masks and gloves, and following social distancing guidelines as mandated by the Illinois Department of Heath (IDPH), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Unfortunately, a manager tested positive for COVID-19 on 5/6/20. This manager did not have direct contact with customers or finishing of products or packaging. However, as a member of Vanille’s upper management, this manager did interact with our team members. 

We are a small business with a tight-knit team. Out of abundance of caution and transparency, we have made the decision to temporarily suspend operations while our team undergoes a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. During this time, Vanille will be professionally sanitized to ensure the safety of our environment. 

We are taking this aggressive action to protect the health and wellness of our team. Our goal is to keep your confidence as we prepare to reopen in two weeks. 

All orders that were scheduled to be fulfilled tomorrow and throughout the next two weeks have been cancelled. If you placed an order, you will receive a full refund and Vanille Representative will be contacting you over the next few days to confirm next steps. 

We are grateful to have brought smiles to so many people during this time and thank you for your overwhelming support. But for us to continue our traditions for many more years to come must do what is right for our team and community. 

We thank you for understanding this difficult situation and supporting the safety for all of us. 

I thought I would never say these words, but I cannot wait to have us all return to work!

See you soon,
 Sophie

========

I felt like it happened in the family. I was just emailing back and forth with a manager two days before… They called me in about two hours regarding my order, and I told them – do not cancel it… They said enthusiastically that they will call me when they will be reopening.

I hope that everybody will be fine…

I feel it like a major injustice to the people who were coping with the pandemic the best way you can imagine

4 thoughts on “Close to Home

  1. Dang, that’s really sad! I’ve seen you mention them before multiple times.
    Corona really does hit someone everyone knows at this point. It’s good that they’re taking the necessary precautions and just shutting down completely for two weeks. And hopefully giving that place a good scrub down in the mean time. I hope they’re all safe and stay healthy and that the manager who tested positive doesn’t get hit too hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for reading – and I mean it! I didn’t even realize how close to my heart these folks had become! I was going to write a big post about their Meals Donation initiative and was waiting for my order to arrive on Friday to take the pictures. It turned out, my children had ordered something for me for Mother’s Day, and they were crushed that I won’t receive the gift… but they are also glad that the staff acted quickly and that they were so transparent.

    Like

  3. yes, it’s a real blow and I totally understand how you and your family feels. Such a scary reminder of how impactful the present situation might become in just hours. Let’s hope that all will go well with that manager and the team and you’ll enjoy their wonderful treats very soon!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s