There are still good things happening in Rochester. #LocalROCS

We thought we’d share some of the many ways the Greater Rochester community is coming together to support one another and local businesses during this uncertain time. Check back often to see the new stories that show #LocalROCs.

  • Black Button Distilling pivoted from producing spirits to hand sanitizer in a matter of days. In an interview with Forbes, Black Button founder Jason Barrett shared, “But I know I have the best team of people by my side to weather this. If this week has taught me anything it’s that the Black Button family can do great things and will move mountains to get the job done.” Learn more about Black Button’s transition to providing much needed hand sanitizer to the Rochester community from Matador Network and Forbes.

  • Rochester clothing manufacturer Hickey Freeman is now producing face masks for healthcare workers at Rochester General Hospital. This week the clothing company began production of 10,000 masks to deliver to the hospital.

  • DiBella’s Subs has launched the DiBella’s Pays It Forward initiative. To support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dibella’s is offering 50% off any order for first responders/nurses/doctors/health care workers/military. Additionally, Dibella's is offering its customers an easy way to donate a sub tray to local healthcare workers and first responders at a discounted rate. 

  • Support local bartenders and also learn a new cocktail recipe with Smoke Out COVID-19, led by Iron Smoke Distillery. The mission of Smoke Out is to directly support service industry professionals affected by the COVID-19 virus by allowing users to upload instructional drink-making recipes and/or videos to receive donations "tips" from friends, family friends, regular guests and fans. Get mixing and support local service industry professionals here.

  • Iron Smoke also announced a partnership with Rochester Midland Corporation yesterday to produce hand sanitizer en masse. 9,000 gallons have already been produced, and 15,000 more gallons are expected per week. This is earmarked for communities where supply is short, and the first 2,000 bottles will be donated to local first responders.

  • The Hideaway restaurant on Park Avenue is teaming up with another Park Ave mainstay, Parkleigh, to provide FREE dinners on Easter for first frontline essential workers. Orders must be placed by 3 p.m. on Friday, April 10. Easter dinners are also available for non-frontline workers for just $19.50 per person. Call (585) 434-0511 to place an order. 

  • Three cheers for Julia K Caters, who partnered with Foodlink to prepare 20,000 meals for those in need in our local community. 

  • The Holiday Inn Downtown is collecting hotel supplies to be donated to Rochester General Hospital, specifically shower caps. Local hotels that are able to donate supplies can contact the Holiday Inn Downtown directly to coordinate. To date, the effort has collected 2,000 shower caps for the hospital.

  • Adrian Jules Custom Clothier has changed over from its normal work production to sewing masks for local healthcare and human service organizations.

  • Hadlocks House of Paint in Victor donated more than 6,000 N-95 masks to Rochester General Hospital, along with a small supply donated directly to Foodlink to protect the staff and volunteers who are preparing thousands of meals every day for distribution in Greater Rochester.

  • In addition to providing an essential service to our community, Wegmans is donating $4 million spread across all of the company’s partner food banks.

  • Constellation Brands is committing $2.5 million in donations to help provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Constellation’s donations, made in partnerships with some of its major brands, will include, $1 million to a restaurant worker relief fund of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

  • Chick’n Out Roc raised funds to send some delicious food directly to local healthcare workers and emergency personnel. So far, the pop-up restaurant has raised $2000 that will directly feed local healthcare heroes.

  • Chef’s Catering is collecting donations to send a meal to a healthcare worker. For just $8 you can easily donate a meal to a healthcare worker from Chef’s website – be sure to enjoy some delicious takeout from Chef’s while you’re at it!

  • Mad Hatter Restaurant and Bakery is providing “Meals for Meds.” For every $10 donation, Mad Hatter will send a meal to a medical professional. Mad Hatter continues to be open for takeout and delivery.

  • Mann's Jewelers and Restaurant Good Luck are teaming up to provide a weekly meal to a family on the front lines of our current crisis. It’s a small way to say thank you and honor those among us who shine, now more than ever. "ROCStar" families deserving of a meal can be nominated on the Mann's website here. 

  • Kodak is now providing isopropyl alcohol to New York State for use in the production of the “NYS Clean” hand sanitizer.

  • Tai Chi Bubble Tea and Yummy Hot Pot have donated critically-needed face masks to local hospitals and healthcare providers.

  • Arc + Flame donated 200 masks to University of Rochester Medical Center.

  • Rochester Red Wings are featuring out community’s healthcare workers, essential employees, first responders, etc. on custom made baseball cards! Follow the Red Wings on Twitter to see a custom card made for a community all-star that you know. The Red Wings Food & Beverage Department has also donated 300,000 medical grade gloves to Monroe County to be used to "help us beat this virus and get us back to baseball!" Way to go, Red Wings! 

  • Foodlink is distributing thousands of meals every day to families across the Greater Rochester region. Each day countless volunteers package 50 pound boxes of food for local families using the space and facilities provided by the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Volunteer spots at the Convention Center are still available, learn more and sign up here. To make a donation to Foodlink and further their work to provide emergency food assistance to families in the Finger Lakes and the Genesee Valley, click here.   

  • Maker Faire Rochester is connecting local makers with the 3D printer files (created by Budmen Industries) to print face shields to help local hospitals.

  • The YMCA of Greater Rochester is operating Childcare Centers around Rochester, and also partnering with Foodlink to hand out about 125 meals daily at the Maplewood Y. The YMCA has made special outreach to healthcare workers and first responders with these special resources.  

  • Fees have been waived for all state parks so you can get a little fresh air, but social distancing is still required. In addition to state parks, all 21 Monroe County parks are open and available for responsible social distancing.

  • Rochester Refugee is making masks and isolation gowns for organizations needing PPE. 1,000 masks were finished in the first week with another 2,000 on the way.

  • The Community Place of Greater Rochester continues to serve our community, providing an emergency food pantry, take-home meals are being prepared for seniors, and lessons and activities are continuing online for youth. 

  • Local school districts have stepped up to provide numerous support systems for students, including distribution of Chromebook and other technology to continue learning at home, providing free and discounted meals to district families, virtual learning and much more.

  • The Rochester Red Wings are lending their mascot Spikes to help with homeschooling the little ones who are currently at home. From the Red Wings, “School may be out, but Professor Spikes has some assignments for any kids up to the challenge.” Assignments will be posted daily from March 23-27 on the Lessons with Spike website.

  • Enjoy a Rochester scavenger hunt ideal for social distancing created by Rochester family travel blogger, Five for the Road. Discover 9 locations in Rochester for families to explore from your car.

  • The Seneca Park Zoo has launched Zoo Projects at Home, nature and animal-based projects for families, children, and adults to do at home!

  • Play all day with The Strong National Museum of Play, which is sharing a mix of playful and educational content, including story time, behind the scenes tours, interviews with curators, live shots from the museum’s butterfly garden and more, every day on its Facebook page.

  • Visit the George Eastman Museum at Home, and find DIY activities, browse the museum’s online collection or watch the Dryden Recommends video series.

  • Find family fun right at home with the Kids Out and About Rochester Virtual Events Calendar. Browse hundreds of virtual events and activities from here in Rochester and across the country. 

  • The Rochester Museum & Science Center is open for curiosity! To stay connected with the community and to continue inspire through science, RMSC is adding educational resources and fun science activities that you can do at home to its website and social media pages.

  • Set up a virtual tour of Gandonagan State Historic Site, the only historic site in New York State dedicated to a Native American theme.

  • Journey through 5,000 years of human creativity: from the treasures of antiquity to 21st-Century masterworks by visiting the Memorial Art Gallery’s Memorial Art Gallery’s website and YouTube channel.

  • Genesee Country Village & Museum, New York State’s largest living history museum has launched a Family Fun & Learning page on its website. Also check out the museum’s YouTube page for behind-the-scenes footage, story time, color pages, historical recipes, and more.

  • The Little Theatre has launched The Virtual Little that will allow you to screen movies from your home.

  • Keep up with Eastman School of Music students and alum as the school shares at-home performances on its Facebook and YouTube pages.

  • The Blackfriars Theatre Book Club will meet virtually on Thursday evenings for about 60-90 minutes and will facilitate an open conversation with participants on the play that was selected to read for that week.

  • The Rochester Brainery has gone virtual! Take a class online with a local instructor and learn a new skill or two while you are safely staying at home.

  • Take part in a virtual workshop or class with Writers & Books, Rochester's home for the literary arts. W&B’s  independent bookstore, Ampersand Books, is also offering local delivery to your doorstep.

  • Take your family on a virtual run/walk with other local families with local dietitian Katie Vaughn.


Across Rochester businesses of all sizes have been creatively coming up with new ways to support and serve our community.

  • Rochester is one of the best cities for beer in the U.S. And now our local brewers (plus wineries and distilleries) are still serving the community by offering curbside pick-up and delivery of your favorite local brews. See the full list of breweries offering pick-up and delivery service from the Democrat & Chronicle.

  • Donuts Delite, a classic Rochester bakery, is gaining national attention for the bakery’s donuts featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci’s face. "We wanted to find a way to cheer up the people in our neighborhood," owner Nick Semeraro told CNN.

  • The Rochester Public Market has served the Rochester community since 1905, and the market continues to serve during this time remaining open as an essential business. Many Rochester Public Market vendors have implemented creative and innovative ways to continue to serve customers, including curbside pickup, online/phone ordering, and delivery options. Learn more and see delivery options here. 

  • The New York State Brewer’s Association is hosting virtual happy hours, and you’re invited! The happy hour series will feature local brewers and brewing professionals.

  • Get your sweat on with daily, virtual workout classes with Compass Cycle + Flow. The free classes will be LIVE and available for 24 hours on Compass Instagram account and then available on the Compass YouTube channel.

  • Tune in for some for some lunchtime flow and another way to keep your body moving with LIVE virtual yoga classes on Instagram account for RocVentures.

  • Rochester Conservatory of Dance is offering free, virtual dance classes, and Garth Fagan Dance is offering live classes on Facebook.

  • Flower City Produce, which is a wholesale distributor for restaurants, recently introduced a pick-up produce box that can be picked up curbside at the public market.

  • Laughing Gull Chocolates have launched several new products in the last week with longer shelf lives. In addition to these new products, Laughing Gull is offering no-contact delivery.

  • Open up a bottle of local wine at home! Casa Larga Vineyards is now offering "Casa to Casa" with local delivery, curbside pick-up and shipping to 40 different states. Learn more and order online here. Living Roots Winery is offering curbside pick-up and same-day delivery within a 10 mile radius of the winery. Order online or call the tasting room during open hours to order. 

  • For every wedding booked at an Arbor Venue (Arbor Loft, Arbor at the Port), $100 will be donated to the couple's non-profit organization of their choice.

  • Both Simply Crepes locations (Pittsford and Canandaigua) are providing free meals to kids. They are also offering some new budget friendly family package options, as well their regular menu for takeout and delivery.

  • Many Rochester restaurants continue to be open for take-out and delivery. Browse local restaurants to support using a couple of different resources:  Visit Rochester's list here, the Rochester page on the Dining with a Distance website or this regularly-updated list from the Democrat & Chronicle. 

  • Galleas Tropical Greenhouse is open for curbside pick up and deliveries for plants, seeds kits, propane, florist and children floral arrangement activities sets.