Open for Business: Sweet Basil
Name of business: Sweet Basil
Physical address: 193 Gore Creek Drive, Vail, CO 81657
Phone number: 970-476-0125
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What goods or services are you offering at this time?
At this time, we are offering a three-course finish-at-home meal kit for $25 per person, available Wednesdays through Saturdays. Kits are delivered to your door. These kits are a way to allow our guests to be a five-star chef in their own kitchen … with a little help from us! Thanks to our creative culinary team, these meals can easily be finished in your own kitchen in less than 30 minutes. The menu changes weekly and can be viewed on our website and social media channels.
How have you adjusted to serve your customers during these unprecedented times?
Our regular menu does not travel well, so just switching it a to-go menu was not an option for us. Plus, we have the added disadvantage of being in a pedestrian village, which is not easily accessible. Our dedicated team members worked tirelessly on ways to bring a Sweet Basil quality meal to the homes of our locals and visitors. We had almost a month of trials (our “guinea pig” guests were happy with that!) until we figured the best way to offer this service. We wanted to keep the price point and profit margins low to give our locals a break. And our wines are priced below liquor store prices. Once our PPP funding came through, we were able to pay our staff and creatively offer work in zero-contact jobs (sewing masks, helping with social media, creating new logos for our new products, etc.) and partial contact jobs (our servers, bartenders and bus staff are your new delivery drivers).
How can the community support you?
Support is a tricky word because we are all struggling financially right now (hence our low price point). One of our team members said he ordered Chinese takeout for two last weekend and the bill came to $65. Our kits are three-courses for $50 for two … delivered! The main way our community can help is to spread the word of our new service and order a meal kit if they’re able. One of our longtime loyal guests from Chicago saw our Facebook post and ordered a meal for four to donate to a struggling family. They have committed to doing that once a week during the rest of this month.
What’s the best source to keep up to date with your offerings?
Facebook and Instagram posts will be going out three to four times a week with a new menu and special add-ons each week. Think Mountain Standard’s iconic pimento cheese by the quart and much more.
What’s the response been?
Guests have been raving about the experience so far. We have received great comments and fun photos from them. Guests say it’s a way to bring the Sweet Basil experience to their dinner table at an affordable price. Employees were all grateful when the PPP funding came through last month. It’s been a wonderful eye-opening experience getting calls, texts and emails from our employees asking what they can do to help. Even though we’re not requiring them to work, they want to feel helpful. Our kitchen manager and owner, Matt Morgan, helps me unload at food trucks and organize the pantry at the Salvation Army. Our more medically vulnerable employees are asked to stay at home and do jobs like sharing our posts to sewing masks.
What are your plans going forward as the “new normal” evolves?
The question of the year! We are dedicated to these meal kits until Dec. 1 — maybe longer — even if restrictions loosen and we’re able to open half our dining room. We feel our community still needs this fabulous option for those who are medically vulnerable or just want to put a nice meal on the table for their family after a long day. We will also be expanding our offerings each week and including dishes from Mountain Standard. In late May, we’ll start offering to-go fully cooked meals like our whole wood-fired rotisserie chicken with sides, to-go picnic baskets and more.
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When a crowd of around 500 people showed up in Vail on Tuesday night to join a protest march in support of Black Lives Matter, the gathering plainly violated Eagle County’s current COVID-19 recommendations.