How the Ivy Bookshop and Bird in Hand are Coping during Coronavirus

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Small businesses and non-profits are especially hard hit during the coronavirus outbreak. We get it! Baltimore Fishbowl is a small business, too. To help small businesses and non-profits, we will provide regular updates to let you know how they are coping. 

The following is an update from Emma Snyder, owner of The Ivy Bookshop, on how both the bookshop and Bird in Hand are adapting and coping during these times.

How have you altered your business to adapt to the quarantine?
The Ivy Bookshop’s physical location is closed. But luckily, we were able to shift to an entirely remote distribution process, so we can still get books in readers’ hands! We ship books directly to your doorstep now. Just call us at (410) 377-2966, and a bookseller will call you back promptly between 10 – 5 every day to offer recommendations or guidance. Or you can go directly to our website at www.theivybookshop.com, to browse and order from our online store.

Bird in Hand is still open each day from 8 – 4 as the Bird General Store, which offers a contact-free way to get the essentials. We offer to-go prepared food & drink options, as well as Market Bags, which you can fill with fresh produce, locally-sourced meats & cheeses, various sundries (think: important paper goods!), beer, wine, coffee, and a variety of goods by local makers. And, of course, you can toss in books & board games from The Ivy, if you’d like. Visit us at www.birdgeneralstore.com or call us at 410-814-0373.

 

Are you doing something for the community or your employees that you want to share with our readers?
We’re running virtual events throughout each week: book launches, book club meetings, events for kids, a collaborative program with The Pratt called Writers Cribs! (we got a peek inside Don Winslow’s gas-station-turned-office).

We’re also a partner for #signitover.com, which was started by two Baltimoreans who wanted to help direct donations during this time. We’re selecting & sending books to kids in Baltimore City Public Schools. You can learn more about it here: https://www.signitover.org/solutions.php?topic=education#

We have a weekly newsletter that people can sign up for our website, where we offer book recommendations, music playlists, and link to all sorts of interesting content and organizations. We miss our community, and want to stay as connected as we can.

What is the status of your employees? 
Thankfully, we’ve been able to keep on the majority of staff for both businesses, though we do have some staff on furlough. Each day staff are talking to customers on the phone, waving through the windows at Bird in Hand, and working on projects from home. We very, very, very much look forward to getting the full team back together.

How can readers help you get through the crisis?
Well, we do love readers! So, for starters, keep reading. And then browse our online store at www.theivybookshop.com, or call us on the phone if you’re looking for that next book recommendation, and order them to your doorstep. Then head online to www.birdgeneralstore.com and buy a Market Bag at Bird stuffed with delicious things. We’ll imagine you cozied up at home with a glass of wine, a delicious pastry, and a good, new read.

How are you coping, personally?
I’m taking long walks, cooking more, reading a lot. Admiring the creative and generous things that are happening in the world. Imagining and reimagining that first luxurious day back in the world — first we’ll go here, then here. So much feels fraught and urgent right now, that I’m also spending a lot of time reminding myself: This is going to be a long process, and the adaptations are just beginning. I’m trying (and often failing) to pace myself emotionally, to be gentle, and to accept that we’re at the start of a period of profound change. Books do help in all of that.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
First: We want to say thank you from everyone at The Ivy and Bird in Hand. Our community has reached out in so many ways — to buy books, get recommendations, grab a six-pack of beer, wave through the windows, and just check in. We miss you.

Second: The Ivy is still planning its move just down the street (to an incredible property at 5928 Falls Road)! Construction proceeds and we’ll figure out the timeline for its opening this summer based on what’s practically possible and best for public health. But we do know that we can’t wait to show it to you. It keeps us thinking about the future in a really hopeful way.

To learn more about the Ivy Bookshop, visit their website or check out their Facebook Page. To check in with Bird in Hand, visit their website or Facebook Page. Whether you need a good book to pass the time or some delicious treats, both Ivy Bookshop and Bird in Hand are here for you.


If you represent a local small business or non-profit and would like to share your update with our readers, contact Nicole Allen at [email protected]. During the crisis, we will offer these sponsored posts for free as a service to the community.

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