Right now, things are tough for small businesses and they need all of the support they can get. It didn't hit me until Friday night that being forced out of my comfort zone actually introduced me to local businesses I'd never tried before!

Show of hands...how many of you have patronized a business the you never stepped foot in during Governor Little's "Stay Home" order? Sure, delivery services like Uber Eats, Grubhub and Door Dash make it easy to explore restaurants in the Treasure Valley that maybe didn't offer delivery before the pandemic. However, restaurants aren't the only businesses adapting to offer new delivery and curbside pick-up options.

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One business that I discovered simply because they were offering something unique for curbside pick-up is Hammer & Stain. A friend tagged me in a post about the Meridian based DIY studio's "Hammer at Home" kits. One of the kits on was gnome couple that I thought would look adorable in BSU blue and orange, so I bought one and put it together over the weekend. I was so impressed that not only did I receive more than enough paints to create my masterpiece, it came with brushes and gloves too! These came out so good that I'm thinking about getting another one and get a jump start on Christmas gifts while I've got the extra time at home.

Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media

The pandemic's also made me a new fan of Western Collective in Garden City! Shortly before all the dine-in restaurants were shut down, I'd tried their Tiki Juice hard seltzer while having dinner in the River Room at Whole Foods. I've shared my fear of the grocery store with you and when the last of the beer my husband had stocked the fridge with before he left ran out, I turned to them to have some Tiki Juice delivered to my apartment. Their website is so easy to use and their delivery crew is so nice.

BTW, with temperatures soaring close to 90º later this week you may want to check out some of their "Home Party" bundles. Those don't just come with a 32 oz container of your favorite hard slush...they also include an oversized inflatable pool with a pump to add a little fun to your backyard!

What business did you try for the first time during the pandemic?