Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

VFC COVID-19 Update #8

Posted by Jan Rasikas, General Manager on Thu, May 07, 2020 @ 02:53 PM

Face coverings, one-way aisles, extended hours and more...

In these extraordinary times, I am filled with gratitude for those who shop for neighbors, thank us for our work, and instill hope and delight with the simple acts of planning a garden or a meal. Twenty five years of community focus on developing a local food economy, through the vehicle of this Cooperative, is about to be tested like never before. I believe we can weather the challenges by supporting each other, especially those who grow our food!

Please Wear a Mask When You Shop

Jake-Deli-Superhero-web2

Your Co-op staff is exposed to hundreds of people every day, seven days a week. Although we perform daily measures to keep ourselves safe and the Co-op sanitized, we humbly ask you to wear a mask or face covering when you shop. We wear a mask for you, please wear one for us.

We have several types of masks for sale, with all proceeds going to a local food bank. But any type of covering works to reduce the chances of infection. We are grateful for your cooperation. Thank you to the generous community members who make masks for us!

 

One Way Aisles in Grocery

Floor-Graphic-Square-One-Way
Our grocery aisles are 6½ feet wide and 6 foot distancing is impossible if we are passing each other while moving in opposite directions. Graphics on the floor indicate the one-way direction. We expect this to relieve some congestion. Brief close encounters will happen!

 

Limited Occupancy Plan

VFC is getting busier and we are putting our Limited Occupancy Plan into action. During the busiest hours, we’ll have a "gatekeeper" at the door to count customers as they come and go. When we reach our limit, you’ll be asked to wait in a line, at 6 foot spacing, outside the store. It helps if only one person shops for each household, and if possible, without children.

 

Beginning May 11, Extended Hours: Open Daily 9am-8pm

Starting Monday May 11th VFC general public hours will extend to 8pm. That’s an extra hour in the evening! 9am to 10am is still reserved for senior and at-risk shoppers; 10am to 8pm open to the general public.

 

Co+op Curbside is Ready at VFC

Co+op Curbside-linked social media cover

Co+op Curbside is open for business! 
We have one week under our belt for our home-grown online order and curbside pickup program. In the next week you will see a few adjustments to the program now that we have a little experience. Thank you for your patience and feedback!

• Co+op Curbside is an essential list of 50 products and a few lines to write in your favorites from memory.
• Co+op Curbside is for folks who do not want to come into the Co-op, to reduce impact during the CoVID-19 Stay at Home Order.
• Co+op Curbside is not a full scale, web-based, online order system. We may grow into a larger program in the future but for now, our capacity (and budget) does not allow.

 

What we do to serve you and keep you safe:

• All Co-op staff wear a mask while on shift. We may wear gloves for our protection.
• We continue to expect diligent hand washing by all Co-op staff.
• VFC reduced hours for the public to accommodate sanitizing, stocking and other tasks both before and after the public hours. This removes many staff from the floor to make room for shoppers.
• We have a Limited Occupancy Plan to cap and monitor how many shoppers are in the store at any given time. We use this plan when overcrowding happens.
• The first hour from 9am to 10am is reserved for Seniors and those at-risk with health issues for better separation from the general public.
• We use sanitizers approved by the CDC. The entire store is sanitized at all "touch-points" every day before the store opens and several times during the day.
• We sanitize the register stands and credit card pin pad after every use.
• We sanitize carts and baskets after every use. We have hand sanitizer stations (when available). Reminder, we have several hand washing stations in the store.
• We installed plexiglass shields at our cash registers to help protect staff and customers.
• Floors are marked and signs encourage six feet of separation.
• To help reduce exposure, we are limiting the number of products coming back into the store. During this time, we ask for no returns or exchanges. Contact us if your product is poor quality.
• Delivery drivers and other vendors no longer enter the backroom. All business is conducted outside at the loading dock.
• Crates for returnable glass milk bottles are located outside the front door.
• Product availability is still very unpredictable. We are working to find alternative sources however most distributors are facing the same disruption.
• We currently do not sell self-dispensed products – salad bar, hot bar, bulk dispensed foods are now all pre-packaged products. Fresh produce items and the bulk water dispenser are exceptions for grocery stores.

We are here for you! Keeping the Co-op open is a vital element to our community’s health and wellbeing. Thank you for continuing to shop with us.

Jan Rasikas, General Manager

Tags: COVID-19, store hours