Community helps small businesses in Sylvester thrive during pandemic

Updated: Oct. 8, 2020 at 6:53 PM EDT
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SYLVESTER, Ga. (WALB) - In a tough year for small businesses across the country, business owners in Sylvester said support from the community has been better than ever.

Just last week, Chef Raymond Segura was cutting the ribbon for his new food truck, “A Lil Taste of New Orleans.” Since then, business is already booming.

“The community is very supportive. I mean, you saw a little taste of it today around lunch time and then later on the evening, they come again. So, throughout the day, they come back and forth to the trailer, to the truck and they call. I get a lot of call-in orders and they’ve been very supportive. I just thank God that we’re here with different food and great food,” said Segura.

Timothy Haire is the owner of Alchemy Games & Coffee Shoppe in Sylvester.
Timothy Haire is the owner of Alchemy Games & Coffee Shoppe in Sylvester.(WALB)

The COVID-19 outbreak left small business owners like Timothy Haire of Sylvester’s Alchemy Games and Coffee Shoppe wondering if his business could survive.

“It was one of those things where we were seeing these giants just collapse and it was making us really afraid. But we decided to adapt,” Haire said.

Haire said Alchemy adjusted by offering online shopping and curbside pickup. But most of all, continued support of faithful customers has helped the shop tremendously.

“This place is a lot like a community, not just a random shop like some places are. We have a lot of regulars, we have a lot of people that we see on a weekly basis. And we’re very grateful for their continued support, said Haire.

As for Segura, he hopes his love for cooking keeps the community coming back.

“I put my all into it, I bring my all out of it. I cook with love and I’m trying to take care of Sylvester, Georgia,” Segura said.

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