Sheltering from the chaos ensuing outside of my front door, coffee and food have become my new favorite antisocial activities. While everyone else is stocking up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer, I’m making my way for the 30 oz coffee grinds and packets of chocolate. We all have our pandemic priorities. It turns out, I’m not the only one.
In a single week, North Fork Doughnut Company (NoFoDoCo) and Sail Away Coffee delivered roughly 4000 doughnuts to 535 locations across Long Island and the five boroughs of New York City.
“Doing collaborations with other like-minded small businesses has always been a favorite past-time of the NoFoDoCo, and Sail Away happens to be one of our favorites to work with,” said doughnut shop co-owner, Jimmy Lyons.
Now, with small businesses taking a hit during the worldwide coronavirus crisis, working together has proved to be a means for survival. While the two companies have been collaborating since NoFoDoCo opened its doors two years ago in Mattituck, co-owners Lyons, Kelly Briguccia, and head of social media, Rachel Herbst, collectively devised a new delivery system, bringing product directly to their customers’ doors. Nitro-brewed coffee and freshly made doughnuts, a symbiotically sweet pairing, can be home delivered on Friday and Saturday, between 8 AM to 5 PM.
For the North Fork-based shop, it’s a new way of doing business. Even during COVID-19, the shop is continuously selling out from its brick-and-mortar location thanks to window and curbside pickups. But Sail Away has been making the wide-range drop-offs for a while. Using the coffee company’s existing customer base has been allowing NoFoDoCo to reach a new audience.
“We don’t think our doughnuts should be a treat that only a few can enjoy. We love the current exclusivity of our offerings, but we want the world to know about what we are doing out here. We want to represent Long Island and let the city folk know that we aren’t messing around,” Lyons said.
“Not to mention, there are plenty of people out west that could probably use some doughnuts and coffee delivered to their door during these times and we wanted to push ourselves to make that happen for everyone.”
Each morning, NoFoDoCo bakes a fresh batch of doughnuts and Sail Away takes it from there, handling all internal distribution and routing. All customers need to do is order through Sail Away’s online shop and choose from one of two options: six pack of Nitro and half-dozen doughnuts, or a 12-pack Nitro and half dozen doughnuts. The Nitro Cold Brew comes in an assortment of Unsweet, Sweet, Sea Salt and Caramel, and Horchata. Doughnut assortment includes Vanilla OG, Jelly, Salted Caramel, Cookies N Creme, Maple Bacon, White Chocolate Raspberry. Then, Friday morning an email will alert you that the order is out for delivery, which includes a tracking link. (If you run out of things to watch on Netflix, hitting the refresh button on your tracker will turn into a new form of entertainment.)
The deliveries began as a way to abide by CDC social distancing regulations, with the extra perk of ensuring job security to employees, which means rents get paid, and life resumes as normal as possible. Lyons noted that what started off an idea for the short term, depending on demand, could continue long after the pandemic ends.
“We are nothing without our community. We all need each other more than ever. This experience, while scary and trying, has been wildly eye opening. It has been humbling to see our community and our small businesses band together to lift each other up. The support and the efforts have been astonishing. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes it takes situations like this to make us realize how much we all need each other and how important it is to appreciate what you have. Our community has helped us realize this truth and we hope we have given the same back,” Lyons said.
This Father’s Day, get your orders in as a great gift for dad. And make sure to keep up with the company’s flavor forecast on their Instagram.
The original version of this article appeared in The Independent Newspaper.