To address the obvious, that the problems we face in the wake of COVID-19 are unprecedented and represent a unique set of challenges to our staff and customers alike. The safety and well-being of every person who sets foot in our store is our #1 priority. As we all are in this together, I’d like to draw attention and start a dialogue about what we can all be doing to minimize the risk of viral transmission.
What we are doing:
- We have set up sanitizing stations at strategic areas in the store. You will see them at the cart corral to wipe down the handles of the shopping carts, at our coffee station and our bread bins.
- We have switched all of our croissants, bagels and baked goods full service to minimize the use of sharing tongs. Where this is impossible, you will find sanitizer.
- We have been re-educating our staff on the importance of handwashing and sanitizing surfaces. All free hands (especially my brother, Dylan’s) will be tasked to sanitizing areas such as cash desks, café seating and coffee station.
- We have stopped sampling and have ceased all demos.
- We’ve switched back to our regular produce bags. The biodegradable ones were undeniably difficult to open without moist fingers. We are looking for a biodegradable option that also meets that criteria but at this point in time, we feel that this takes priority.
Beyond the obvious sanitizing, keeping as much personal space as possible and not touching your faces, we feel there are several steps that you, our customers can take to minimize transmission as well:
- Try and touch as little as possible in the store. This sounds like a strange thing to say and largely applies to our produce department. We take pride in having the best, freshest produce on our shelves, picking through our inventory and culling anything that isn’t up to snuff so that you don’t have to. There’s no need to pick through everything on display to find the perfect one.
- Give us your feedback and voice your concerns. We are trying to educate ourselves as new information becomes available and have done everything we’ve thought of to maintain a safe environment. But there’s no reason that you won’t have an idea that we haven’t thought of.
- Most importantly, indulge yourself. The last few weeks have been an especially confusing time, people are panicked and there’s a palpable unease in the air. Instead of spreading mistrust, it’s more important than ever that we look out for and support each other, especially those more vulnerable members of society. We can load up on dried goods and canned soups, but I think we all deserve a little something to lift our spirits. Whether it’s an indulgence in the form of an impossibly marbled steak, a cheesecake or just the convenience of a prepared meal, we all could use a little spoiling.
Thank you for your trust and confidence in the Village Grocer.
Evan, Cathy, Thomas and the whole Village Grocer team.