Sioux Falls’ Chef Ellen opens new storefront as industry shifts to take-out only

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Ellen Doerr won’t set an exact open date for her new storefront location, and understandably so.

The state of emergency caused by the new coronavirus, COVID-19, has forced closures and layoffs for many of her peers in Sioux Falls’ food service industry.

Despite setbacks to the restaurant industry, Doerr’s business Chef Ellen, was outgrowing its old space.

More: Coronavirus in South Dakota: Confirmed cases, latest news and updates

Her new location, planned for the former Cheese World space in the strip mall at 2210 W. 69th St., will help Doerr meet the growing demand for her meals, which are pre-made, packaged and then delivered or made available for pick-up.

“It is just kind of crazy trying to figure out what is going on and what is going to happen,” Doerr said.

The move to a southern Sioux Falls retail center has been in the works since October.

Doerr is a personal chef. Since opening her business in 2018, she has been transitioning from in-home cooking to a model that provides remote access to her meals.

Doerr specializes in fitting her meals to meet the needs of allergies and dietary restrictions.

She sees not only demand but need for her business as more families and older residents might not be able to leave their home.

Food trends were already moving toward more home-cooked meals versus dining out, Doerr said.

“We’re wondering if this is going to kind of kick it into overdrive,” she said. “Right now I think a lot more people, if they have relatives who can’t go out and they’re worried about getting them groceries or food, it’s a good option.”

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