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Knocking it Off and Shutting it Down

A few local businesses took the safety of their employees, customers and community so seriously that they kept things locked down even when state officials began to lift restrictions.

Frog and Toad, located at 795 Hope Street (they do have a second location on Westminster but it’s currently closed) has yet to reopen for in-person shopping, so adapted to being not only an online shop, but also allowing for pick-ups. If you don’t know the shop by name, you’ve definitely seen their products around. They kicked off the pandemic by printing Gina Raimondo’s favorite press conference slogan “Knock it off” on a t-shirt. The design, made by Maret Bondorew, paired with another local business, Parched, and 20% of its proceeds went to Rhode Island COVID relief. They’re since expanded into offering merch to show off that you’re vaccinated, including sweatpants that have “VACCINATED” written across the ass, and they do a lot of work to partner with local organizations to give back. frogandtoadstore.com; @frogandtoadstore 

Many Rhode Islanders held their breath until Wildflour, a vegan bakery in Pawtucket, reopened last summer after shutting down at the beginning of the pandemic. Once it did, many ran to it, gleeful to find their treats back and ready for them. Wildflour has handled the pandemic like a boss. Indoor dining has been closed since the initial shut down (on nice days you can sit outside) and they have set up a clearly-marked pathway through the store. You enter, look in the food cases, make your order, pay and walk out a different door. Drinks are made to order, and you wait outside for them. The whole process is quick, painless, and feels incredibly safe. You can also do online ordering so that you can pick-up without waiting. wildflourbakerycafe.com; @wildflourveganbakery 

Riffraff, the bookstore and bar that’s every book lover’s dream, has been incredibly in their handling of the pandemic. They still don’t allow people into their shop, but do allow book pick-up as well as outdoor browsing and cocktails. They also have surprise book care packages, curated by Riffraff staff based on your favorite books, and their recommendations are always on point. riffraffpvd.com; @riffraffpvd 

Tallulah’s Taqueria, located at 146 Ives Street and a contender for the best taco in Providence, took their takeout-friendly restaurant and adapted it for pandemic safety. They closed their patios and kept them closed for the past year, and turned their operation into a to-go window. Ordering ahead is effortless with their website, which is recommended because they have been busy at peak times. Safe takeout, delicious tacos, and a semblance of normalcy. tallulahstaqueria.com; @tallulahstacos