Immediately following the news of the severity of the Coronavirus, the nation rushed to grocery stores and local markets to stock up on food and household essentials. The grocery industry has been working tirelessly ever since to keep the shelves stocked, get customers in and out of the door as quickly as possible, offer more delivery and curbside pickup options – and sanitize like crazy.
With the nation locked down to flatten the curve, restaurants, bars and businesses have closed. Markets, however, are at the front lines of the crisis. Grocery store workers are encountering the public each and every day, risking their own health, to serve their community.
Supermarket trade groups FMI-The Food Industry Association and the National Grocers Association (NGA) are working closely with federal, state and local officials to ensure ready access to grocery stores and the safety of the food supply chain. Plexiglass guards are being installed at checkouts, social distancing guidelines are implemented, purchase limits are being enforced, and stringent cleaning measures are taken.
TMC Clients Stepping Up to the Plate
Andy’s Local Market, who acquired their San Rafael building with an SBA 504 loan in 2018, is one of the markets who has been doing all they can to keep up with demand and keep their customers AND employees safe.
Starting in early March, Andy’s Market started communicating about the coronavirus and the measures they were taking to maintain a safe shopping experience for everyone. They released delivery times of essential items that customers were in need of, they immediately closed the self-serve bar and added extra covers and packaging, took extra sanitizing measures, and began offering delivery options, an effort led by Cade Breslin, a former employee home from college.
Cade began working at Andy’s Local Market at the age of 14 and was one of the most dependable and skilled employees. When Cade returned from school amidst the craziness, he was eager to help his community in need.
“Being a local mom and pop shop, we aren’t high tech with the means to have a big on-line platform for delivery,” explains the store owner, Andy Bachich. “Cade said, I will run it, the community needs it!
“He ran with it, not even home from college a few hours, he was sending me the layout of the delivery program. Setting everything up from the poster stating we were delivering for social media, to recruitment of the local high school and college kids that were home to help him pull grocery lists and deliver. He did all the scheduling and training of each spectacular young adult. Cade came up with the systems and has been running the program.
“In a week, he and his team delivered over 250 grocery deliveries to our nearby neighborhoods, and those in need. We are told that we are the only store in the nearby area that is doing same day delivery. Even the big guys are backed up a week out as well as Instacart. Our customers seem to be super thankful, and it feels good to be serving our community!”
Andy’s Market also jumped at the chance to assist in feeding local families affected by the closing of schools. Andy’s Market teamed up with other members of the community to help provide food to families in need in Marin City.
According to Stacy Achuck, one of the drivers of the effort, they have raised enough money to feed families for the next 17 weeks, thanks to Andy’s Market providing bulk orders at cost.
Achuck also has praise for the grocery store. “The store always has the supplies I need. There are only a few people in there at a time. They have a hand washing station, and everyone is super nice! We absolutely would not have been able to do what we have without their help!”
Andy’s Local Market isn’t the only TMC borrower making us proud on the frontlines. We have worked with other grocers throughout California and Nevada that are working hard to provide to their community:
- La Bonita, a Hispanic Grocer serving Las Vegas, delivers daily videos with sales, healthy recipes, and tips for staying safe
- KP International Market serving the Sacramento Area and KP Asian Market serving Oakland
- Mi Rancho Supermarket, a family run Hispanic grocery/retail store located in San Jose and Redwood City
- Oakland’s Laurel Ace Hardware and San Francisco’s Standard 5&10 Ace While they are not grocers, they are suppling many essentials (TP, masks, sanitizer) and have been so helpful on their social media pages so you know what is in stock and when.
- Supermercado Mi Terra in Oakland and Modesto
TMC is so grateful for the grocery industry being there for consumers amid the coronavirus crisis. THANK YOU!