As residents of the greater Fort Smith region struggle with restrictions prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak, several businesses owned by alumni of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith are making changes to accommodate their customers.

Jessica Parker and her husband Brandon, both members of the class of 2009, invite people to their business Carrot Dirt Organics for a healthful meal or snack. Customers can check out Carrot Dirt’s Facebook and Instagram feeds for a menu, call ahead for their order, and pick it up curbside. Children are welcome to grab a free sack of fruit or other snacks on a table outside the shop. Carrot Dirt is located at 4300 Rogers Ave., suite 32.

Customers of Chapters on Main, a bookstore and coffee shop at 816 Main Street, Van Buren, can order coffee and baked goods through an app they can access on the Chapters’ website and Facebook page. They can pick up their orders curbside at the front entrance of Chapters, which is owned by Christian Westbrook, ’18, and his grandparents Debbie and Alan Foliart, Chapters also offers a book selection service as well. If the book you are looking for is in the shop, the staff will pull it for you. If they don’t have it, they will order the book and have it delivered directly to your home. Customers who wish to enter the shop will be screened at the door to protect staff and other customers. Chapters will remain open during its regular hours, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., as long as customers continue to patronize the store.

Jeff Taylor, ‘11, said Jeff’s Club House, 2801 Old Greenwood Road, Suite 16, is offering Take and Bake meals that feed four (or more) for $25 daily from 11 a.m. to about 5:30 p.m. The restaurant’s full menu is available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for curbside or carry-out and through delivery services. Check their Facebook page for details. Although pre-orders are encouraged, if customers are nearby and want a Take and Bake meal, chances there’s one available. Taylor plans to continue the service as long as possible to keep the staff employed, something he believes is a “moral duty.”

Birthdays and other celebrations present challenges in the era of social distancing. But the cake is easy. Stephanie Long, ’19, owner of The Cake Occasion, has you covered; that’s the benefit of an online bakery. Customers can contact Long at for information, consultation, and the baked confection of their dreams. Delivery is available.

Those who have ever wished for a drive-thru at Fort Smith Coffee Co. will be delighted with this information. Kaity Gould, ’09, and her husband Gabriel, ’11, rigged up a makeshift drive-thru at their 1101 Rogers Ave. location, where the dining room is closed. Customers who prefer curbside pick-up can download the Coffee Joe app for “mom and pop coffee shops,” Kaity Gould said. App users select the coffee shop they want and pay online, so there is no need to exchange cash at the site. FSCC also delivers bags of roasted beans and house-made syrups. Many of the shop’s most popular made-from-scratch food choices – pastries, sandwiches, burritos, and quiche – can be ordered ahead as well.

Judith Hansen
Date Posted: 
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
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