Across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people and businesses in unprecedented ways. For Jada and Eric Fritz, the owners of Grown in Camas, Washington, coronavirus has increased their business tenfold.
They've owned and operated the store for 20 years, and in the wake of the pandemic, they have experienced record sales as more people are now trying their hands at growing their own food while staying at home.
Today my job called for planting tomatoes!🍅 Who else is growing their own food this spring? I talked with the owner of a small business that’s selling more veggie starts than ever. pic.twitter.com/9C232EPzpR— Katherine Cook (@KCookKGW) April 28, 2020
Nearly 98% of what the Fritzes sell at their nurse has been grown by Eric from seeds, something the pair takes pride in.
“It's not been something that's been snipped off and put into a growth hormone,” said Fritz.
This year, their customers are more conscious of where their food is coming from as well as their access to it.
“Everyone's worried about their food situation,” said Fritz.
They're now selling more vegetable starts than any other time in their 20 years in business. As the only ones operating the store, the couple has been a bit overwhelmed but, obviously, grateful.
The small store has relied solely on word of mouth to generate business, and they don't even take credit or debit cards. And while computers aren't Jada's thing, she certainly knows her way around a tomato plant.
“One of the first things is we fertilize with a liquid fertilizer religiously,” advised Fritz. “We use Tums, we use Epsom salts and you can google some of that!”