Experience in a Box
Local businesses team up to support each other and the city
Four entrepreneurs are determined to help other local business owners keep business rolling during the COVID-19 crisis. Layne Ferguson and his partners—Landon Ferguson, Connor Cox and Ibsen Crespo—of Capitals Ice Cream in Midtown and Cities Ice Cream in Edmond have started CityBoxOKC.com to get local products into the hands of OKC residents.
“My partners and I were discussing last week how much the city is struggling, and how much people miss getting together and connecting at their favorite local places,” Layne Ferguson said.
From that conversation emerged CityBox, an assortment of goods from local businesses meant to bring Oklahoma City into your living room.
“We wanted, as much as possible, to replicate the experience of going out, but in your own living room,” Ferguson said.
On the website, customers can find four boxes: CityBox, Brew Box, Date Night Box and Stuck-at-Home Box, each with customized contents. To facilitate the process, the partners just purchased products from participating retailers, a move that guarantees local businesses have revenue coming in.
Ben Nockels, one of the partners at Commonplace Books, said the bookstore provided a popular candle for their part. “The most natural experience that we could offer to our friends, neighbors and patrons during this unsettling and unprecedented time Unhurried Wonder, the candle we burn in the store made from a custom scent we developed with The Nest in Tulsa, another local business,” Nockels said.
The boxes contain products from 15 different businesses, including Capitals and Commonplace, as well as popular concepts like Hall’s Pizza Kitchen, Elk Valley and Stonecloud Brewing, Plant and Stitch. The contents of the box are based on the theme. For example, the date night box wine, pizza, ice cream and a candle. The ice cream is a build-your-own sundae kit, and the pizza is take-and-bake style. The biggest of the four, the CityBox, contains something from all the businesses. Full product lists are at the website.
Ferguson said the response from retailers has been enthusiastic, and many others have expressed interest in signing on. “This week, everyone has until the end of the day Wednesday (Mar. 25) to place their orders, and then they’ll be available for pick-up or delivery on Saturday. We’ll be doing this again, and we’d like to add more boxes as we add more retailers,” he said.
Nockels, too, is excited about the prospects moving forward. “This was an easy yes,” he said. “Partnering with a bunch of friends to serve the community in this way is precisely why all of us exist in the first place.”