Jake Armstrong and Fiona De Lange work at Ottavio Italian Bakery which has remained open by serving goods from the parking lot. Ottavios is adding a daily coffee window on Tuesday as the province moves cautiously closer to reopening restaurants. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Businesses look to reopen along Oak Bay Avenue

Non-essential stores await Restart Plan green light

The baker is back and that means so are Ottavio Italian Bakery’s popular croissants.

The coffee shop and deli has managed to stay open during the pandemic and now things are looking up as Dr. Bonnie Henry has presented a cautious reopening plan starting in mid-May.

“We’ve had pickup orders from our parking lot [out back] and now we’re very excited to have our baker back and we are opening a coffee window,” said general manager Genevieve Laplante. “I’m also excited for what Bonnie Henry is saying.”

READ MORE: Ottavio thanks 20 years of community with blowout celebration

Ottavio deli is officially opening the walk-up coffee window on Wednesday, May 13, but it might not be long before they can open the store (at a limited capacity) again.

Heather Leary puts together the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association’s business activity summary for member businesses and said that while things might seem quiet the current report is seven pages long.

“A lot of businesses are open even if their front door isn’t open,” Leary said. “They adapted through offering delivery, through offering curbside delivery and pickup options. Businesses are still here to serve the community, it’s just in a different capacity in some cases. They’re really being flexible in making things happen.”

Sales for art are down but galleries are surviving so far with online sales, video tours and virtual exhibitions.

Ottavio bakery and deli, for example, is not at full staff but they wish they were, Laplante said.

“We’re pretty excited for the coffee pick-up and for pastries,” Laplante said. “The baker is fastidious and his croissants are the best in the city, though I’m biased, but a lot of people have been asking for them.”

READ ALSO: Gallery in Oak Bay to showcase community art project created during COVID-19 crisis

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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