Small World Coffee 2.0 is up and running with contactless ordering, payment and pickup.
Six weeks into the national pandemic, the popular coffee shop has reopened its Nassau Street location for online ordering and pickup, serving beverages and food from the grill.
Since the time six weeks ago when owner Jessica Durrie closed both the Nassau Street and Witherspoon Street locations and donated her surplus foods to the needy, she has been planning for how and when to reopen.
Offering bulk sales of coffee beans and other items during the interim provided only 2 percent of the cafes’ previously thriving business. But to reopen, “We had to find a whole new way of doing business,” said Durrie.
She and her staff members took their time working out all the specifics. “We didn’t rush into any of these changes,” she said. “Taking all of our principles learned over the past 26 years and taking all of the new factors into consideration, we are offering the best experience possible.”
Customers have responded positively, she said, happy that their beloved café has reopened, even if they can’t yet sit down at tables inside.
Orders are made fresh, Durrie said, and are ready a half-hour after they are placed online. In addition to the café’s popular coffee and tea drinks, customers can order breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and avocado toast. Muffins and cookies will be available again soon, although customers still can purchase frozen scone and cookie dough to bake at home. Pickup is at a table outside the Nassau Street café.
So much of the Small World Coffee experience has been based on customer interaction, which Durrie said she and her staff miss. “The hardest thing is that we can’t bring people together in the same way” as when they could come in, sit down and socialize. Despite the limitations, they are determined to make the takeout experience as positive as possible.
They also are working hard at sanitizing more than ever before. Employees wear masks and gloves and they sanitize regularly throughout the day.
Durrie opened Small World Coffee 26 years ago after visiting college towns throughout the U.S. in search of the best place to open a coffee shop offering high-quality products. She has never regretted choosing Princeton.
Throughout the pandemic, “We have had so much support from employees, customers and the town,” she said, proof once again that she made the right choice those many years ago.
For now, only the Nassau Street café is open, but Durrie hopes to open the Witherspoon Street café by May 11. Those who wish to place orders for beverages, food, and other items like coffee beans can do so online at pickup.smallworldcoffee.com from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
As she works to operate during the pandemic Durrie also looks toward the future when she can reopen both cafes so people can sit down to enjoy their beverages, food and each other’s company.
“We’ll all get through it and get through to the other side,” she said. “People need to break bread together. We thrive on connection.”