New York area party businesses adapt, reap benefits of COVID-19 pivots

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Monday, July 5, 2021
New York-area party businesses adapt, reap benefits of COVID-era pivots
Local party businesses that modified their services due to the COVID-19 pandemic are now reaping the benefits.

LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- Local party businesses that modified their services due to the COVID-19 pandemic are now reaping the benefits.

Chrissy Tetrault, one of the owners of CC Slumber Party on Long Island, said they've seen an influx of new clients.

"We are having people call us from all over," she said.

CC Slumber Party offers individual, decorated tents for indoor slumber parties, and Tetrault said parents are attracted to the fact that kids can sleep in their own space.

"They're not on top of each other," she said. "They're not rolling around. They love having their space. They love being in their own little tent with their own blanket, their own pillow."

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The annual fireworks are what so many look forward to every Fourth of July, especially after a year in which many Independence Day celebrations were canceled.

Cindy Ocampo, CC Slumber Party's other owner, said the company used to book large sleepovers -- but that changed with the pandemic.

The shift has opened up a new clientele.

"Instead of big class parties in the past, now it's like the soccer team or the scout group or just the cousins together," she said.

Carolyn Cucci, of St. James, booked a birthday party for her daughter through CC Slumber Party.

"They had a wonderful time celebrating safely together in a small group," she said. "But still it gave them that experience that they were normal again. They were having a normal celebration."

Chris Catanese, who calls himself Bubble Dad, used to do in-person bubble shows for parties. When COVID struck, he switched to virtual parties and is now booking parties all over the world.

"One of my first birthday parties was a 9-year-old girl in East Texas," he said.

Catanese has been filming from his apartment in Astoria and is thinking about buying a small studio so he can continue to offer virtual shows in addition to his in-person appearances.

He said he is also considering reaching out to children's hospitals to do virtual shows for pediatric patients who may have high-risk health issues and can't be exposed to a lot of people.

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Gina Wuestmann and her husband Dave Wuestmann opened BTW, which stands for Born This Way, in Oceanside on Long Beach Road in November.

The pandemic also prompted some people in the catering party business to purchase food trucks.

Karen Davis, for example, started The Waffle Chic food truck after COVID threatened to destroy her catering business.

Davis said her food truck sales have been going so well, she is considering purchasing another truck.

She said people have booked her food truck recently for many different occasions.

"It brings so much joy to me because people have had graduation parties, birthday parties, weddings," she said. "We've done Bar Mitzvahs."

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