Recently, Geno Cassella was brainstorming with some customers about how they could support local businesses when they struck on an idea: a one-stop shop for customers of Downtown Lodi eateries.
Cassella, who co-owns Brick House with his brother Franco, ran with the idea.
On Tuesday, Brick House was joined by Five Window Beer Company, Peltier Winery, High Water Brewing and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in their “One Stop Shop” program, where customers can select items from each company off of a set menu. Then, they can pick up the meal — complete with entree, drinks and dessert — and bring it home.
The package allows people to get favorite items from those five companies without having to drop by five places, minimizing the chances of both employees and customers being exposed to the novel coronavirus that has shut down much of California.
“A lot of people want delivery, which makes perfect sense,” Cassella said.
But others want the chance to get out of the house — even for just a few minutes, with minimal human contact. For them, takeout is a great option, he said.
The goal, he said, is to weather the current conditions as well as they can. Right now, small businesses don’t really know what kind of relief they can expect, or whether there would be any bailouts ahead for local companies.
Cassella didn’t want to rely on help that might not come.
“Small businesses are sitting here in limbo,” he said.
So far, he said, the response has been great.
“We blasted everything on Sunday, and got a lot of replies back,” Cassella said.
The menu includes choices for three beers from Five Windows Beer Company (or a refill on a 64-ounce growler); three different types of beer from High Water Brewing; six wine options from Peltier Winery; a family-style dinner including salad, soup, pasta and an entree for three people or more from Brick House; and one of four flavors of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory’s signature candied apples.
Meals must be pre-ordered, due to the amount of ingredient prep needed for family meals, and Brick House begins taking pre-order calls at 1 p.m. daily.
“(Before then) we’re running around like crazy getting ready for the day,” Cassella said.
Pickup and deliveries begin at 4 p.m.
Cassella hopes other local businesses take the idea and create their own partnerships. He aimed for a balanced group of companies that weren’t competing with each other for his own team.
“Any businesses can do it,” he said.
Even if customers don’t have a need for the “One Stop Shop” family meals, Cassella hopes that they will continue to support local businesses by getting takeout or delivery meals.
Buying gift certificates is another way to help companies, he said. That way, the businesses get cash to work with right away, and customers have a nice meal to look forward to.
Essential companies that are providing meals for their employees can also look to local restaurants, he added. Brick House offers box lunches, and a lot of local restaurants do catering.
Brick House is located at 27 W. Elm St., Lodi. For their ‘One Stop Shop’ menu, follow them on Facebook. To place an order, call 209-426-5871.