The Crib, local businesses close temporarily


Photo courtesy of Emily Wegemer FREE SMILES—One of The Crib’s baristas, junior political science major Sarah Saead, works the walk-through window to promote social distancing.

Maggie Duly

Walking through the empty streets, a passerby can see many shop windows are occupied with closed signs and explanations. As of Tuesday, March 24 all non-essential businesses closed their doors in accordance with an executive order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 

This means no clothing boutiques, specialty shops, coffee shops, etc. are open at least until April 13. Some states are extending their stay in place orders until the end of April. 

Before Whitmer’s order, The Crib coffee shop closed their inside operation and moved to a to-go window set up. 

“We felt it best for the health and safety of the community to close the window for the duration of the Shelter-in-Place mandate,” said The Crib Manager Emily Wegemer.

Restaurants are able to stay open for delivery and take-out, but The Crib team thought it best to halt their operations for everyone’s safety. 

“There could have been an argument made that we fall under the restaurant take-out or delivery umbrella, but we didn’t want to make a decision based on rhetoric, and we didn’t want to stretch a definition to include ourselves when we felt it is safest for everyone to close up for the time being,” Wegemer said.

The Crib employees are on temporary leave and have been instructed by Wegemer on how to file for temporary unemployment. The Crib barista, junior political science major Sarah Saead, worked up until the last day before the closure. 

“I feel quite safe about the temporary closure. I think that Dave, Nicole and Emily made a wise decision as far as public health is concerned. They communicated with us very well throughout the process of their decision,” Saead said. “I have felt cared for, understood and heard throughout this process.”

The baristas followed a detailed checklist and set of instructions in the days leading up to the temporary closure including washing hands in between customers, not handling customers’ cards, surfaces were sanitized multiple times a day, etc., Saead said. 

Coffee beans are still available at Econo Foods and the Marquette Food Co-op. Customers can also call or text (630) 715-2721, email [email protected], or message them on Facebook and Instagram @TheCribMqt to order beans for either porch pick up at the shop or home delivery.

The Crib employees are central to the business, Wegemer said, and she is looking forward to when the team can get back together when it’s safe for the community.

“We miss [our customers] but we know this is best for us all right now. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay caffeinated,” Wegemer said.