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Unkel Joe’s still working online

Despite a limited staff due to Gov. Tom Wolf’s mandated shutdown, the remaining employees at Unkel Joe’s Woodshed are working on adjustments to their store to continue their presence within the community.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the store had puzzles and plastic model kits available for purchase through its online store available for free curbside pickup and delivery in Altoona.

(Incorrect information appeared in Wednesday’s Mirror that the store was closed.)

“We prioritized things families could do together in their homes,” Unkel Joe’s Woodshed Director of Information Technology Mike Baker said. “Unkel Joe’s is rapidly developing its eCommerce site. With the COVID-19 crisis looming, we updated our point of sale system, adding the capability to rapidly deploy items to an online storefront.”

Baker’s brother, Tim, is handling day-to-day operations.

“We have been working every day during this shutdown to get more items on there,” Tim Baker said. “By this coming weekend, we should have some fishing items available on there as well.”

The first day of trout season is still planned for April 18, and Unkel Joe’s plans to have as much of its normal stock available as possible.

“We’re hoping to have everything available,” Tim Baker said. “It’s a very labor-intense process. Everything has to be manually entered in with the prices and what our inventory is, but we’re trying to get as much stuff online to offer for curbside pickup or delivery as we can.”

Though free delivery is currently limited to orders paid online in Altoona, Tim Baker, who will handle the deliveries himself, said it may expand to Hollidaysburg.

The website can be found at www.ujwoodshed.com and will be updated daily as more products are made available.

“We’ve been in business for 65 years,” Tim Baker said. “This is something that no business ever anticipates having happen. We’re doing everything we can to update the way we do business to service this new economy. It’s a big question mark with nobody really knowing when things are going to get back to normal. We’re just trying to do everything we can to make sure our customers get the same level of attention.”

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