Greetings from the Co-op. From the beginning of this crisis, one of the bright spots has been the exceptional cooperation among Co-op employees. It is inspiring to see folks pull together to serve the community when our role in supplying good food and purchasing from local producers is more important than ever. As time passes, the stress is increasingly wearing on folks, but our team continues to move forward with patience and grace.
Safety comes first. Back in March, we implemented multiple safeguards, including our shopper code of conduct, limiting the number of shoppers at any one time, an outdoor hand-washing station, social distancing floor decals, new cleaning and disinfection regimens, and plexiglass shields at the cash registers. We continue to add new measures as we learn and innovate. Next week we will launch a new online ordering website interface to enhance our Curbside Pick-Up program (see below).
One key is sharing information and inviting communication. Six days a week, our staff response team, made up of the officers from our employees’ Union and senior managers, meet to discuss the latest news, brainstorm solutions, and adjust our action plans. Every afternoon we have a staff meeting (with most attending by video conference) to hear updates, ask questions, and offer suggestions. Many of our safety improvements came from front-line employees. A written summary of each meeting is posted. While not perfect, this has been an invaluable system for gathering and disseminating information.
The Co-op and Union have also cooperated to enhance compensation in recognition of the additional stress and risk our employees are taking on. Our current agreement provides additional pay for hours worked along with adjustments to our employee discount, paid time off, and paid leave programs. I want to thank the Union for their understanding and support, especially in terms of providing greater flexibility in scheduling and work assignments during this crisis.
While our employees are stepping up to serve the community, we ask that everyone contribute to a safe co-op by shopping intentionally. You can help by:
- Planning your shopping trips so that you are visiting the Co-op only as often as you need to.
- Shopping for others when possible and shopping alone.
- Making lists to shop efficiently and minimizing socializing.
- Maintaining six-foot separation from others, properly wearing a face covering and washing hands often.
- Using credit or debit cards instead of cash whenever possible.
We appreciate your patience and support. We recognize this is a difficult time for everyone, and we may be heading into a particularly challenging period. Our kindness, compassion, and smiles (even behind those masks!) go a long way right now. Thank you for helping our community get through this together!
Stay safe and be well,
Kari Bradley, General Manager
Coming Soon: New and Improved Online Grocery Ordering
Next week we will introduce our new website interface for online ordering. We think you will appreciate the increased variety of products and more specific information regarding brands, sizes, prices, and availability. The new platform will also allow us to take online payment, a major step forward in terms of convenience and efficiency. Also, beginning next week, we will be offering pick-ups in the morning before the Co-op opens.
We plan to announce specifics of the new program early next week. In preparation, we recommend you create a PayPal account and link it to the credit or debit card of your choice. Note that our new program will only be available to Co-op Member-Owners; if you are not a member of the Co-op, we encourage you to join now for $15. Happy (online) shopping!