This series is aimed to provide a Business Spotlight on local people and businesses in the East Contra Costa County community that are being impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and their response to the virus.
In today’s business spotlight, Kay-Kay Hines, one of the owners of Brownstone Gardens in the City of Oakley, highlights how the wedding venue has had to move or cancel a series of events due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many events have had to be moved into later in the fall or pushed back to 2021.
ECT will be interviewing 30-businesses in 30-days during April to provide both information and to promote local business.
What is Brownstone Gardens?
Brownstone Gardens is an enchanting garden venue, hidden among an abundance of majestic towering trees and shrubbery. A perfect venue for your wedding ceremony and reception, anniversary party, baby shower, or any other gathering of friends, family and loved ones. The lush garden setting makes for a beautiful backdrop in creating that unique ambiance for any occasion with memories to last a lifetime.
Why did you open your business?
The business was launched in 2005 after the venue was inspired by a dads dream to have all his girls get married at home. Onlookers would drive by while the place was being transformed for the families special events and would ask what was going on and tell them that they should do weddings here. From there, family and friends who attended some of their first parties would also tell them the same thing and eventually they continued with the projects until the whole place was transformed into what we know now as Brownstone Gardens. Today, the venue hosts more than 60 weddings and events each year.
What do you love most about the service you provide?
I love being able to help with such an important day in someone’s life and work to make their dream wedding come true with an outdoor garden wedding. It’s so romantic with all the outdoor vibes. Our staff really works hard to provide an enchanting venue to make all our clients dreams come true.
How has the coronavirus impacted your business?
Early on with the social distancing and the ban on large crowds, we knew we were not an essential business by definition of the Governor and the county. In response, we have had to move many events from 2020 to 2021 which is revenue we will never get back this year because we have had to temporarily shut down. We also had our staff of 15 ready to go for the upcoming wedding season and now they are on hold. We only have one staff person working from home while we are performing maintenance work on the property each day.
I am devastated that the month of May, which is one of the most gorgeous months of the year, we are likely to remain closed. Another thing to consider in all of this is all of the wedding parties and vendors–the entire industry is hurting. From brides not being able to get their dress modifications to our vendors not being open. From a planning standpoint, this has been a major challenge for everyone in the industry because plans are up in the air and keep having to be changed based on new information being made available.
How have you responded to coronavirus – how has your business changed?
Although we are still booking events, we cannot do on-site tours at the moment which brings in new business. We have already lost 15-20 weddings for this year and next and have lost nearly 35% of our booked future business because people cannot plan due to the virus.
Right now, we have photographs and videos that people can look at, but they cannot come onto the property. They can still book and reserve their spot for their wedding or event.
We are in the process of working with our clients during the shelter-in-place order and are making any changes that may need to be made at this time. We are trying to provide customer support and have as much communication as possible with those who have booked or are looking into booking an event. Planning a wedding or an event is already stressful enough, but we can do our part to help make wedding and event planning easier.
“Our hearts and prayers are with all our vendor friends family, customers and anyone else in our community and beyond that is affected by this situation. We know we will get through it together,” said Hines.
Any special deals right now that the community can take advantage of?
We feel terrible for all the seniors and college graduates who do not get to celebrate their accomplishments because of the shelter-in-place. When the order is lifted, we are offering our Fall 2020 Season (Friday & Sundays if available) for venue only packages. This is heavily discounted pricing for graduating students only. For other celebrations, Brownstone Gardens is also offering other specials through the fall season.
If you are interested, please contact them for more details.
Business Spotlight Series
- #7: Hilton Family Law Navigates Case Load With Court System in Flux
- #6: GolfBallin Stays Positive While Navigating Around Golf Course Closures
- #5: Rapunzel Wigs Closed After County Ordinance, Supply Chain Impact
- #4: Rick Fuller Says Technology Helping Move Property During Covid-19 Pandemic
- #3: The Bike Shop Reopens After Clarification on Essential Business
- #2: Revive Salon and Spa Closes, Now Waits Out Stay-At-Home Order
- # 1: Josh Young at Newfront Insurance Navigates Through Coronavirus Pandemic
Disclosure: this series is being done at no cost to local business or individuals as an attempt to provide value to our community. If interested in potentially being included in this series, email [email protected]