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'Not everybody agrees, but we have to protect ourselves:' Jacksonville Beach cafe owner makes new changes for staff, customers due to pandemic

Ivy Wolf, owner of The Ugly Cupcake Muffinry, said she is highly encouraging customers to wear masks, and seating them mainly outside, among other changes.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — Highly encouraging customers to wear masks and seating them mainly outside are just a few changes one cafe owner in Jacksonville Beach made to ensure the health of customers and staff.

"The health and safety of our staff and patrons is now, and has always been, our number one concern," Ivy Wolf, owner of The Ugly Cupcake Muffinry, wrote on the cafe's Facebook page Wednesday. 

The post went on to list changes made at the shop, including making sure there's six feet in between tables, parties of more than six will be sat at separate tables and parties of four or more should expect to wait longer.

The health and safety of our staff and patrons is now, and has alway... s been, our #1 concern. In light of the current covid situation in the Jax Beaches, we are making some changes and enforcing some protocol in the coming weeks. We will continue to sanitize every day, and stay with our eco friendly disposables.

Wolf said even though restaurants in Florida are allowed to have 50 percent of dining rooms full, she feels it's best for everyone's safety and health to seat people outside.

"We’re sorry we know not everybody agrees, but we have to protect ourselves in as many ways as possible, so hopefully, with us putting that out there it will help other businesses feel comfortable in doing the same and feel like there’s a little unity there," Wolf said.

She said she implemented these changes when the cafe first reopened a few weeks ago. Wolf said she decided to post them now after several bars and restaurants in the area closed because customers and some employees have tested positive for the virus.

“We’re just doing what we think we need to do not just for the physical health of our customers and patrons, but for the health of our business as well," Wolf said.

Wolf said if an exposure to COVID-19 forced her to close the doors, the cost to deep clean the building would cost between $5,000 and $6,000. She said she'd also make her entire staff quarantine for two weeks, whether they tested positive or not.

“Not only would we be out of revenue for the time we were closed, which for us would probably be two weeks, our staff would not be able to work during that time and then you have the additional expense of the cleanup and for a small business that’s huge," Wolf said.

New changes that may be the new normal because, as Wolf wrote in the post, "a wrong decision can mean the loss of needed revenue or the health of a customer or staff member."

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