This year is different. The Chatham Berry Farm sold out of turkeys on November 13, almost two weeks before Thanksgiving, and the phone continues to ring off the hook with orders the farm can’t fulfill. “The staff here now, we’re kind of calloused over from the steady, revolving door of customers coming through,” says Alexia Baker, a greenhouse manager and longtime jack-of-all-trades staffer.”
The Berry Farm isn’t alone in its newfound turkey fame. As Covid-19 infection rates spike across the country, more Americans are eschewing traditional family gatherings and staying home on Thanksgiving. But they’re still cooking, and their need for provisions–albeit on a smaller scale–has escalated, sending the businesses that cater to the holiday scrambling to adjust to rapidly changing levels of food supply and consumer demand. How they’ve adjusted is instructive for any entrepreneur, especially those eyeing upcoming e-commerce bonanzas like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the holiday shopping season.