MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. — COVID-19 caused businesses everywhere to change how they operate.
That was no exception for Alabama Bliss Bistro in Muscle Shoals, but unlike some businesses that suffered or closed, Alabama Bliss sales increased.
In the early days of the pandemic, the restaurant closed its dining room to patrons but still offered curbside pickup. It also offered a new service when it pivoted to selling groceries and cleaning supplies.
Owner Miranda Ball said she wanted to offer an alternative for customers during an uncertain time. “It was kind of crazy there,” Ball said. “We never knew from one minute to the next what we were going to be selling and so people were really—paper towels toilet paper and cleaning supplies were our main sellers and people would come and get cases and cases of toilet paper because at that point, nobody had it.”
Business continued to increase with the introduction of Tessie, the restaurant’s first food truck.
‘It’s just really neat to say, ‘oh we’ve got the food truck coming,’” Food Truck Manager Jennifer Watson said. “I think she’s going to be able to reach a lot more people than just having just the brick and mortar store here.”
Store manager Shanna Mennes said the food truck is also increasing advertising. “It’s kind of like mobile marketing so everyone thinks it’s cool and fun and now that we have fun, new tie-dye t-shirts, everyone wants one,” Mennes said.
With an updated order from the governor, the dining room has since reopened and Ball said she’s thankful for all the community support that’s allowed her to stay afloat.
Ball said even though the dining room has reopened, she will still offer online ordering and curbside pickup.