A small NJ business buoyed by pandemic needs is forced to close
Think of everybody who made a killing off of the pandemic. The people who sold hand sanitizer, facemasks, and rubber gloves. Not to mention all the people who delivered things when no one wanted to leave their homes.
That was the case when a company called Illuminate Food set up shop in 2020.
Started by a Maplewood woman named Danielle Schwab, Illuminate Foods was designed to deliver boxes of farm fresh food to New Jersey residents throughout the pandemic, according to an article on Patch.com. And back then, food arriving on your doorstep in a box was like a godsend.
The necessity of having great things brought to you was paramount back then. Now, not so much. And even if you do choose to have things delivered to your home, everyone’s doing it. There’s just so much competition.
Sadly, Illuminate recently announced it is closing. The company sent emails to former customers with a farewell message, and a recommendation for other, similar services.
The Illuminate newsletter was filled with recipes and recommendations. That became popular as well as food delivery. That newsletter will continue, according to the Patch piece.
Illuminate was so successful because besides for the home delivery aspect of it, at that time everyone was home, so everyone was cooking.
Now, getting back to real life, with people going back to their offices, people are spending less and less time in the kitchen.
The company literally began in a garage and was one of those New Jersey companies that prospered as a result of the unique needs of New Jerseyans during the pandemic. And a big box of local produce delivered each week was almost a necessity back then.
The article goes on to say that Schwab included in her email this statement:
“From the notes we received, many of you seemed surprised and I agree, it's hard to know when a small business is struggling until it's too late.”
It’s always sad when a small business closes here in New Jersey. And I’m sure that this is not the last business that will be closing now that things are back to normal in New Jersey.
But Danielle Schwab doesn’t seem to be completely throwing in the towel yet. she wrote in her farewell email that it is her dream to figure out a way to keep the community and the brand alive. So it’s possible we have not seen the last of Illuminate Foods.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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