Delivery and healthy options keep local café strong through the pandemic

Jacob Barriga
Arts Editor

The Spot Café in Claremont has expanded on its popular healthy smoothies, juices and bowls –  and free delivery service – to keep business strong during the pandemic.

Established in 2013, The Spot, next to Trader Joe’s on Foothill Boulevard, has been a staple for the community and the students who attend the Claremont Colleges.

While so many eateries have lost business or closed altogether amid COVID-19 shut-downs, the Spot co-owners Mitch Stein and Tara Turner said they have actually had some unexpected business success these past 12 months.

“We took a hit at the beginning of the pandemic because most of our business is centered around the students at the Claremont Colleges,” Stein said. “But this summer we had a lot more business due to the fact that the community was traveling less and staying local.”

The Spot has always offered healthy fare, such as smoothies and paninis among other items. However, at the beginning of the pandemic, with grocery stores running out of basic supplies, The Spot adapted essentials and groceries to their already in-place take-out and delivery menu.

“We had a supply chain for apples, milk, toilet paper, masks and hand sanitizer,” Turner said. “We were able to sell this to our customers that couldn’t find them in grocery stores.”

Stein said the cafe usually takes a hit during the summer months because the students go home for the summer, but this year he said the hit came during the winter.

In order to compensate for the lack of foot traffic, The Spot increased delivery to their customers.

“We always had delivery,” Stein said. “But we now are sending more deliveries than we ever have before and it has become a major part of our business.”

Stein said they are looking to open a virtual kitchen in the future where customers will be able to order online or through third party apps, and their food will be available for pick up or delivery.

“The coronavirus has accelerated the delivery business, and that is the direction we are going to take because we have seen it work,” Stein said.

The Spot Café is popular for its reasonably priced healthy choices, including a variety of acai bowls, omelettes, and juice cleanses, with many meals in the $6-$10 range.

The Spot Café is open Monday through Saturday 7 a.m to 8 p.m and Sundays from 7 a.m to 6 p.m. The Spot also provides delivery from 11 a.m to 8 p.m Monday through Saturday and 11 p.m. to 7 p.m on Sundays.

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Jacob Barriga, a senior journalism major, is a copy editor for the Campus Times. He has also served as sports editor and a staff writer.

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