After the coronavirus forced a winery to close down its tasting room, the owners got a little creative with curbside pick-up.
Stone House Urban Winery in Hagerstown, Md. decided to practice social distancing by having their dog, Soda, an 11-year-old boxer, deliver bottles of wine to customers.
“Mom says that we all have to pitch in and pull our weight, that includes me as well,” the company wrote in a Facebook post. “So, if you are out shopping and have kids in the car, or just want to keep your distance from other folks, give us a call and place your order, I’ll try to personally deliver your wine in my nifty new wine saddle bag. Mom thinks of everything!”
The idea came after co-owner Lori Yata was talking to a family member about how lonely Soda was since the pandemic.
“I was telling my daughter-in-law how sad Soda was not having his friends coming in to drink wine and visit him,” she tells This Dog’s Life. “She suggested he bring their wine to them, so I hopped on line and bought the little saddle bag that holds two bottles of wine.”
Now, when people come to pick up their wine, Yata puts on Soda’s carrier, zips in the bottles and drops in a few treats for the guest to give him. And then off he goes.
“Customers love it! Our regulars are still able to come and see Soda. We’ve had guests from as far as DC and Baltimore, over an hour drive, just to see him,” Yata says. “A lot of parents will load up the kids so they can see Soda. One mom said, ‘I needed to get the kids out of the house and said let’s go see Soda Pup.'”
As for Soda, he is not only happy to have a little task but can once again see friends, get some “good boy” pets and a few goodies for a job well done.
“Soda loves his job!” says Yata. “When he sees me picking up his bag he jumps up with his little tail wagging, and stands willing and able.” (And so far Soda has not gotten tired being the delivery boy; he only ever carries two bottles.)
This adorable curbside delivery solution has definitely helped business at Stone House Urban Winery (right now, every little bit counts for small businesses). But for those who live too far away but still want to help the winery, Yata would love if people could help out their local animal shelter, Washington County Humane Society.
“If people want to make a monitory donation or if they would like to drop off food, they can do it in honor of Soda,” she says. “There are a lot more needy animals out there that can use our help as well.”