Cluster Fork. Those words etched onto a kitchen towel sum up this whole situation. Jenni Hlawatsch, owner of The Singing Cook, could not agree more. Her charming store on Main Street in downtown Louisiville is known for unique and essential kitchen products, all served with a healthy dose of humor. But “essential” has new meaning for businesses like The Singing Cook. Shops like this are now considered “non-essential”, which means it’s closed to the public until further notice.
“This is my sole source of income,” Jenni says. “I don’t know how I will pay next month’s rent.” For now, Jenni is going through the laborious process of applying for SBA loans. She’s offering phone orders and delivery while desperately trying to start a shopping website. A month ago, this was the unimaginable. Like other small business owners, she has seen a dream turn into a nightmare. “It’s the uncertainty.” she says. “Every day, I wake up and I don’t know if I am going to make a sale.”
In the face of adversity, Jenni believes in spreading the love – and in karma. “I am trying to pay it forward by supporting other downtown businesses,” says Jenni. “It is about neighbors helping neighbors. Our small businesses need to stick together.” For now, all Jenni can do is wait – and hope – for the day that this “cluster fork” will finally be over.
The Singing Cook
728 Main St.
photos by Chris Wheeler