LOS ANGELES – Smorgasburg locations across the country have been shut down since March 13. The weekly food event housed hundreds of small businesses that depend on those sales to survive. One local concept has been struggling to stay afloat while waiting for Smorgasburg to hopefully reopen again.
Noelle Ramirez dreamed of having her own successful business for years and Smorgasburg made it possible. Spectrum News 1 visited the s’mores stand back in October.
“I can’t tell you the amount of people we met from like Dubai or Germany who never had a s’more before. I feel that experience is so unique,” said Ramirez.
Their business was booming at the weekly food festival. Smoreology would attend events and pop-up fests, but Smorgasburg was their main source of business.
“That was a game changer for us, we morphed into this amazing dessert company,” said Ramirez.
But it all stopped when the festival closed due to coronavirus. Everything halted and Smoreology didn’t sell products or make money for a month.
“We relied on those events and we didn’t have another way to sell s’mores,” said Ramirez.
Coronavirus impacted more than just her business. Ramirez has health issues of her own. A couple of years ago she contracted a virus which caused a collapsed lung, and then was hospitalized with phenomena. She currently has asthma, so she is taking this seriously.
“Having pneumonia for the second time, I feel with this virus going around I don’t want to put myself at risk because I know what it’s like to fight for your life and not be able to breathe. There was that thought, trying to revive my business, but at the same time is it worth my life,” said the owner.
Ramirez and her wife had to figure out a way to maintain profits, to keep their commercial kitchen and few employees, while also staying safer at home. Now, Smoreology is hand creating and shipping at home smores kits, which were an instant success, a shock to Ramirez saying, “It was overwhelming, the support we got from our fans.”
She was able to hire back a few workers to make the s’mores at the kitchen. Then she creates the kits in her home to ship out.
“It has become our little headquarters,” she said.
But Ramirez is remaining positive and will take what she learned during quarantine and continue it in the future.
“We hope Smorgasburg makes it through and we hope to continue online ordering and it can be another revenue stream,” said Ramirez.
Businesses are pivoting and taking lessons with them along the way.