Oh Mamma’s adds online store, hand washing station amid pandemic

SOUTH BEND, Ind.— Longtime farmer and cheesemonger extraordinaire Jody Klinedinst knew that for her small business to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, she’d have to get creative.

She did just that.

Oh Mamma’s on Mishawaka Avenue, nestled in South Bend’s Market District, has added an online shop to help take in orders and even a hand washing station for customers who pick up orders in the store.

“We’re wearing our gloves, we’re monitoring who is coming through the door, we’re limiting who is coming through the door, we’ve closed off our cafe,” Klinedinst said on some of the changes the cheese shop and deli has had to make.

The shop is considered an essential business under Governor Eric Holcomb’s stay-at-home order and Oh Mamma’s has put great care into their operations while staying open, wearing masks while working, constantly changing gloves, and running orders out to customers’ cars if requested.

Shop manager Lauren Stephenson said the store has actually built an entirely new website in light of the pandemic in an effort to encourage customers to pre-order their items.

“We never really shut down once everything went into place, we responded in the opposite direction,” Stephenson said. “We provide food for the community in an economic way where everything is cut to order, so we can fit any budget into what we offer.”

In addition to offering their regular line-up of food items like rustic breads and handmade sandwiches, Oh Mamma’s has added meal kits to its menu.

“We do things Italian style. We make gelato, we do lasagna, we do meatballs, we do soup, sausage, but we’re doing these other kits as well,” Klinedinst said. “Maybe it’s spaghetti and meatballs, you come in and purchase the kit, you get everything you need for dinner that night, or a pasta carbonara, also a pizza kit, that’s been wildly popular.”

The shop now opens daily at 10 a.m. and in addition to its online ordering option, the staff also field calls and texts throughout the day from customers.

Before the pandemic began, Klinedinst and her husband Joe, who operate a farm in Walkerton, decided to start construction on an old building on their hometown’s main street.

The goal? To build the creamery they’ve always dreamed of.

“Construction has been slower because we can only have one person working when there could’ve been three people working,” Klinedinst said, adding that finances have also slowed the process down.

Klinedinst said that while the creamery’s grand opening may be farther out than initially planned, she’s still hoping to open the Walkerton creamery at the end of the summer. An event space inside of the creamery will open near the year’s end. 

Learn more about the essential items that Oh Mamma’s is offering by visiting their new website.

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