Update: Wednesday,September 9, 2020
Pandemic safety in Phase 2.5
As the state moves into phase 2.5 reopening, we are maintaining our commitment to maximize shopper and worker safety. Covid 19 cases in Orange and Wake County are still high–similar to where they have been all summer. In response, we need to keep our food eating centered around grocery shopping–which is a low-risk activity–rather than dining, which is higher risk. This is how we can do it:
Refrain from high-risk dining:
• Dining areas are closed.
• Outdoor areas are closed for any purpose.
• Food bars and coffee bars are closed
Shop for groceries in a low risk manner using proper precautions:
• Wear face coverings without exception. No vented masks or bandannas.
• Limit shopping trips, stock up when you shop, and don’t shop in groups.
• Practice social distancing while you shop.
• Utilize online shopping.
Take the Shop-once-a-week-Pledge.
The quickest way to move beyond the pandemic is to get cases down. Once that happens, then we can return to the dining and gathering that we all enjoy. Thanks for your continued cooperation!
Update: Thursday, June 25, 2020
Yesterday the State delayed the start of phase 3 and highlighted the need for continued social distancing. Here is what we’re doing to slow the spread of Covid19 and how you can help:
- We are keeping our customer capacity at 20%–a level that has proven effective for social distancing.
- We continue to require face coverings when you shop. Both county and state orders now also require face coverings in retail stores.
- Please stock up when you shop. There has been an increase in small purchases over the last few weeks. While we love to see you, the priority right now is to maximize safety by minimizing interactions.
- Please shop alone whenever possible.
- Take the Shop-once-a-week-Pledge. We’ll give you a weekly reward for buying a week’s worth of groceries or shopping online.
Thank you for everything that you’re doing. Your actions make a difference. We know it’s stressful and we appreciate your continued efforts.
Update: Friday, May 22, 2020
Our actions make a difference.
As the state moves into Phase 2, Weaver Street Market plans to keep our customer capacity at 20%–a level that has proven effective for social distancing. You can help.
Take the ‘Shop Once a Week’ Pledge.
As a community, we have the power to protect ourselves as shoppers and workers. That’s where the ‘Shop Once a Week’ Pledge comes in. It’s a simple, yet powerful way to act together as a co-op. Taking the pledge is a commitment to:
Shop once a week and buy a week’s worth of groceries, or shop online.
Get a weekly reward.
In return for taking the pledge—and increasing safety–you’ll also receive a weekly reward. The first week’s reward is a $10 discount on your purchase of $80 or more, excluding beer and wine. Each week you’ll get a new reward, which you can redeem online as well as in-store. You’ll also get an update about the difference that you’re making to keep our co-op at 20% capacity.
Here’s what else we’ll do to maintain social distancing.
In addition to the pledge, here’s what else we’ll do to stay at 20% capacity and maintain social distancing:
- Starting Sunday May 31st, we’ll increase store hours to 10am-8pm daily. This will spread our customer count over two additional hours a day.
- Keep both indoor and outdoor dining closed.
- Continue to require face coverings, and maintain our other social distancing measures.
Our plan is based on our own experience as well as data on the pandemic.
Although 50% capacity is now permitted, we want to stay at 20%. Here’s why:
- Since we never closed our stores, we have gained experience over the last seven weeks. We have demonstrated that 20% capacity works, and we want to prevent an increase in customer traffic that would make social distancing more difficult.
- We track data from several sources. The results for North Carolina are mixed, and some models show a potential increase in the number of infections as a result of re-opening. No one knows what will happen, but we want to err on the side of safety.
Let’s work together as a co-op.
By working together as a co-op, we can do things that other businesses can’t do. Although there is a lot of attention placed on government actions, in the end it’s really up to us. Our actions as the Weaver Street community make a difference.
Thank you so much for everything that you’re doing.
It’s difficult to get by in these uncertain times. We know it’s stressful and we appreciate your continued efforts.
Ruffin Slater, General Manager
Update: Monday, May 15, 2020
Important message from the Board
Hello Weaver Street Market community,
This is Jon McDonald. I’m the Chair of your Board of Directors with an update on what the Board is doing to guide our co-op during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To begin with, I want to extend a HUGE thank you to all of you on behalf of the Board. The Board is keenly aware of the challenges that you face to protect your family and maintain your livelihood. We want to thank each of you for the way that you have adjusted your shopping patterns, supported our staff, and worked together to access food under unprecedented circumstances. This is an extremely stressful time and we appreciate how difficult it is to do what you’re doing.
Next week, our General Manager Ruffin Slater will write to you with an updated plan for the next phase of our pandemic response and will let you know how you can participate. The plan follows from guidance from the Board in these key areas:
Prudence— Our plan will endeavor to do what’s best for our co-op and our community. We will inform our decision making using the best data available to maximize our desired outcomes. We will listen to experts, track current trends, and consider, thoughtfully, the potential outcomes of different actions.
Safety–Since we never closed our stores, we have gained experience about what works regarding the safety of our workers and shoppers, and we are still learning. We need to tread carefully in the “re-opening” phase to make sure that we don’t make changes that might backfire.
Participation— By working together as a co-op, we can do things that other businesses can’t do. Although there is a lot of attention placed on government actions, in the end it’s really up to us. Our actions as the Weaver Street community make a difference: we can establish norms, adjust our shopping patterns, and incentivize desired behaviors.
The Board acknowledged this week that the pandemic has required us to be nimble as we respond to unique demands, even calling into question aspects of our operation that are core to our identity, such as serving hot food and being a community gathering place. While parts of the Weaver Street experience might be different for a while, our strength as a co-op is stronger than ever as we come together to sustain our community, as we have for over 30 years.
I am honored to be a part of such an amazing co-op, and proud of how our consumer and worker owners are coming together for everyone’s benefit. Thank you so much for everything that you’re doing.
Please contact me with any questions about the Weaver Street Board by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in cooperation, Jon
Update: Monday, April 23, 2020
Our workers and customers continue to be amazing!
Our workers have developed new ways to operate to deliver incredible service using the most up-to-date measures to protect themselves and our customers. Our customers have discovered new ways to shop and have offered us encouragement, which makes a huge difference. We understand that this is a stressful time for everyone and are extremely grateful for how our community is working together.
We stock the store before opening:
- We have deliveries arriving daily and have found substitutes for many product shortages.
- Thanks to our local producers, we have a full stock of your local favorites, including fresh strawberries.
- Our bakers and chefs make breads, pastries, and prepared foods daily.
- Although our bulk section is closed, we are packaging bulk items.
We are open 11-7 daily with the most up-to-date measures for social distancing:
- Our staff wear masks and customers are required to wear masks. Thanks to our local textile producers, we have reusable masks for sale at the entrance. Read about our unique partnership here.
- We are consistently below our customer occupancy limits and have minimal staff on the sales floor to maximize social distancing.
- Stores are marked with directional arrows and there are plexiglass shields at the registers.
- We have a new video from our cartoon guy about how to shop.
After closing, our evening crew shops online orders for pick up the next morning:
- We have moved workers to the night shift, and hired a few local workers who are temporarily out of work.
- We have improved the instructions on our website and added a tutorial for first-time shoppers.
- We have a dedicated person answering your email questions.
- We have partnered with Rosie, a small company that works with independent grocers, to provide the shopping site and back-end logistics.
Thank you for your cooperation and kindness!
Update: Monday, April 13, 2020
For your safety and the safety of our staff please:
- Wear a mask when you shop.
- If you are feeling unwell, please do not come into the store.
Consider online shopping.
- Limit your shopping trips by stocking up.
- Shop alone if possible.
- Practice social distancing (6 feet) when in the store.
- At checkout, keep social distance between you and
the person in front of you.
- Minimize your interaction with the cashier.
A wave and a smile are always welcome.
- Pay with a card rather than cash.
- Bag your own groceries if you are able.
- Follow directional markings to maximize social distancing.
- We are limiting the number or workers on the sales floor,
which may limit our ability to answer questions.
Update: Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Here’s what’s happening in your co-op this week:
We’re Here for You
We expect there will soon be a “Shelter in Place” order. Our stores will still be open, and you will still be able to shop for groceries. To prepare for this phase, here are some updates and requests:
- New store hours starting Friday, March 27th: 11 am – 7 pm daily
- Please limit your shopping trips by stocking up and shop alone if possible.
- Please practice social distancing (about 6 feet) when in the store.
- At checkout, please keep social distance between you and the person in front of you.
Coming Next Week – Online Shopping
You will soon be able to shop and pay online and pickup your groceries curbside. We will send you an email announcement when the system goes live next week.
Protecting our Workers
Our store employees are our most valued resource. They have been on the front lines for weeks, serving hundreds of shoppers each day. We recently installed plexiglass dividers at registers to help reduce exposure to the public during check out. We ask for your cooperation in helping to keep both you and our workers safe:
- Please minimize your interaction with the cashier. A wave and a smile are always welcome.
- If possible, please pay with a card rather than cash to avoid exchanging bills and coins with the cashier.
- Please bag your own groceries if you can.
- We are limiting the number or workers on the sales floor, which may limit our ability to answer questions. Please email questions to email@example.com.
- Deliveries continue to arrive daily, including fresh fruit and vegetables.
- We continue to produce baked goods and prepared foods daily.
- For safety reasons, we’ve discontinued coffee service, sandwiches, and sliced-to-order deli meats.
- Although we have discontinued the food bars and bulk foods, a selection of those goods are still available in prepackaged, to-go containers.
In an effort to protect our seniors, we will do your shopping for you. Instead of setting dedicated senior hours, we will take your order online, shop, and load your groceries into your car. There will be no fee for this service for seniors.
A Note from Ruffin – Thank You!
We want you to know how much we appreciate our owners and shoppers. It’s been incredible to see how our community has worked together during this stressful time. Thank you, as well, for the kind words about our staff. I’m so grateful for their hard work. They have responded with excellence and kindness. Thanks to them, our community has access to local, healthy food. Please know that we are doing everything possible to keep our staff safe, while continuing to serve you, our community.
Update: Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Our Community is safer when we keep our distance
- For your safety and the safety of our staff, we ask you to please practice social distancing by remaining six feet apart (about two arm’s lengths) whenever possible in the store.
- When you get in line at the checkout, please remember to keep distance between you and the person in front of you
- As much as we value our conversations at the register, please minimize your interaction with the cashier. Use a card if you can and keep as much distance as possible.
- Plan to stock up on each visit in order to make as few shopping trips as possible. Consider shopping for your neighbors and family.
- If you want to avoid crowds, we have the fewest shoppers right after we open (8 am) and right before we close (8 pm).
- Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation!
- Deliveries are arriving daily. We are in-stock on most items
- We continue to make our fresh baked goods and prepared foods daily.
- Because we have temporarily closed the food bars, we cooked up a wider selection of take-home meals.
- To avoid supply shortages, we purchased a truckload of Earthfare private label products. Much of this product is the same as the Field Day brand that we currently sell, but we can offer it at a discount.
- Since we canceled our April wine events, we are rolling out the discounted wines as they arrive.
Our indoor cafés are closed, as well as our outdoor seating areas.
All alcohol purchases are now for off-premises consumption only.
Update: Monday, March 16, 2020
Dear Weaver Street Community,
Thank you for working together to make our community as safe as possible in response to the Coronavirus.
I want to share the additional steps that we are taking starting Tuesday March 17:
- Reducing store hours to 8 am to 8 pm.
- Closing our indoor cafes. Our outdoor seating will still be open, with tables spaced farther apart.
- Changing the way that we serve food to maximize safety, including:
- Replacing bulk food items with pre-packaged products.
- Replacing our food bars with additional packaged take-home meals.
- Pre-packaging all bread and pastries.
- Converting coffee to service by the staff.
- Converting to disposable cups and containers.
These new steps are in addition to steps that we took last week:
- Frequently sanitizing high-touch locations.
- Making sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer available to you at additional points.
- Requiring any staff with respiratory symptoms or fever to stay home and seek appropriate care.
- Cancelling events and ceasing food sampling.
- Working closely with our suppliers to ensure uninterrupted supply, particularly of local products.
We appreciate the suggestions that many of you have sent us. We continue to monitor the situation closely as we adjust our operations to prioritize the health and safety of you and our staff. You can monitor our response at at weaverstreetmarket.coop/coronavirus-updates.
We rely on the advice of our local health department and other governmental agencies, and urge our owners and shoppers to learn more about protecting themselves at the CDC website and the Orange County and Wake County websites.
Times like this are a testament to the strength of our community. We appreciate your kindness and cooperation as we work together to provide healthy food and keep our community safe.
Update: Thursday, March 12, 2020
Dear Weaver Street Community,
Weaver Street Market is in the unique position of offering sustenance for our community while also doing all we can to minimize the risk of the Coronavirus to our staff, owners, and shoppers. As a community-owned business, we have a heightened commitment to ensure that our stores are ready to serve you during this challenging time.
I want to share the things our co-op is doing to best serve you, care for our staff, and meet the needs of our community:
- We have implemented even more rigorous cleaning practices throughout our stores. This includes frequently sanitizing high-touch locations like carts, payment machines, and seating and bathroom areas. We are also changing out hot and cold bar utensils on an hourly basis.
- We are making sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer available to you at additional points around the stores. There is currently a shortage of these items, so we are tasking staff with frequently cleaning all high-touch areas.
- We have asked any staff exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness or fever to stay home and notify their physician. Our co-op has a generous paid time off policy, and we are working with employees on a case-by-case basis to ensure that they have the support they need.
- We have suspended food sampling and free fruit for kids, stopped accepting personal cups at our coffee bars, and discontinued paper feedback forms in favor of online feedback.
- We are cancelling events to minimize risk. This includes the April wine shows, the May co-op fair, and tours.
- We are working closely with our suppliers to ensure we have the products that you need. We are paying particular attention to supporting our local producers and keeping our local products available.
We anticipate that guidance from governmental agencies will change rapidly over the coming days and weeks. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and to adjusting our operations to prioritize the health and safety of you and our staff. You can monitor our response at weaverstreetmarket.coop/coronavirus-updates.
Thank you for being an integral part of our community. We appreciate your kindness and cooperation as we work together to keep our community safe.