Sheltered Diaries: Eliminating Stress, Helping Local Businesses

We’re at the point of quarantining where my third-grader offered me some money to shave his father’s head today.

Note: His father has not agreed to this at all.

“I just think it is funny and my idea of entertainment has evolved since COVID-19,” Tiny said.

A lot of things have “evolved” since we all took to our homes, though – suddenly grandmothers are on Tik Tok, everyone has a sourdough starter, and mask fashion is a whole thing. Forget the latest lipstick – who made your mask?

But not all of these changes are easy – obviously, school and work at home can be very stressful, as I am sure we can all attest. Cabin fever can be stressful. Managing stress can be stressful.

If you are like our household, finding groceries – especially if you’re trying to limit your visits to grocery stores – can be a whole other additional stressor on your family.

It’s also a bit of an adventure. Put $100 worth of groceries in your cart, manage to procure a curbside pickup time or delivery time, and end up paying $60 – but only because $40 of your cart wasn’t available by the time shoppers pulled your order.

As someone said to me just the other day, if you’re the kind of person (or family) who thrives on and needs meal planning, this is a tough time.

But one night, social media came through for me again, and I’d love to share the thing that alerted me to how we can help local businesses, and reduce some of our stress from grocery shopping at the same time.

You see, we talk a lot about the restaurants and retail stores that need our patronage now, but what about the companies that supply them? Take, for instance, Signature Baking Company, which was my gateway into the wide world of restaurant vendors who have begun selling their goods to the public now that many of their customers are either shuttered completely or are operating at a reduced capacity.

Signature’s owner put out a call late one night on Facebook to let people know they would begin taking orders from the public because many of their restaurant customers simply weren’t ordering. I was one of the first customers – after all, we needed bread, they had bread, and we were having trouble getting it at the store.

Now a few weeks later, they’ve really pulled the whole endeavor together nicely, and you can order a lot of fresh baked goods for an extremely reasonable price. We just got our new order today, and my carb-loving third-grader is over the moon that his favorite brioche buns are back.

Hardie’s Fresh Foods supplies many restaurants in the state, including Dallas restaurants. Their Facebook page is a definite must-follow if you’ve been trying to get fresh veggies, cheeses, and other grocery items. I say it’s a must-follow because that’s where they post where their truck will be each week.

They’ll have a produce pop-up, by the way, at Vector Brewing, located at 9850 Walnut Hill Lane on April 23. For $20, you get a nice big box of produce. For a little extra, you can ask about the secret menu and possibly get your hands on meats (including Waygu beef), cheeses, eggs, and even fresh-squeezed juices.

And if you want to help reduce the stress on other families while also reducing food waste, you should check out the Harvest Food Project’s Wholesome Wholesale baskets.

The Harvest Project itself provides fresh produce to families who lack reliable access to food, at no cost. They partner with local produce distributors in Dallas, who donate the produce that would otherwise go to waste.

In the three years, Harvest Project Food Rescue has redistributed over a million pounds of produce and has fed over 7,500 families in the Dallas area,” the nonprofit explained.

Their Wholesome Wholesale baskets – which are limited in supply each week – are full of seasonal produce, as well as two rolls of toilet paper and a box of gloves, and cost $35. But you have to move fast to get one – so keep your eyes peeled. If you want to help someone else get a box, you can also order a “pay-it-forward” box for the same price, too.

Please note – I didn’t get any compensation for any of these recommendations. They’re simply places my family has ordered, and I’m passing that information along.

So what are you doing to eliminate stress where you can? What are some great “secrets” you can share with everyone? Let us know!


For nearly 40 years, People Newspapers has worked tirelessly to tell the stories—good, bad, and sublime—of our neighbors in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. To support our efforts, please contact advertise@peoplenewspapers.com for advertising opportunities. Please also consider sharing this story with your friends and social media followers.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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