OTTAWA, ON (March 23, 2020)
We hope that you are keeping well – safe and healthy. The recent news and changes have been unsettling for everyone, including our staff, stores, and business. We are continuing to think of you all, and adapting our business as we need to in this challenging time.
All 31 of our Farm Boy stores remain open to help provide food to you and your families while we work to protect ourselves and our communities. We are exceptionally proud of our staff, who are working tirelessly to make this possible. While the rest of Canada and much of the world is staying home, they are filling our stores and serving our customers. Our team always works hard, but now they are being called to provide a level of customer service above and beyond what we ever imagined we would have to ask them, and for that we owe them an enormous thank you.
Grocery stores and food markets are some of the only places people are leaving their homes to go to, and that means our stores still have a good deal of traffic. We are not taking this lightly, and it means we are implementing a number of extra precautionary measures to ensure the health, safety, and confidence of our customers and staff.
We have temporarily reduced our operating hours so our teams have ample time to sanitize and stock the stores. We’ve even added night shifts to take care of afterhours stocking, and help keep our staff spaced appropriately apart.
To ensure customers feel as safe as possible shopping with us, we are dedicating our first hour open to the most vulnerable shoppers – seniors, those with existing health conditions, and pregnant women. While the government has made it clear that those at risk should stay home and encourage friends, family and neighbours to help support them, we know that inevitably some will have to come to our stores. We hope to reduce their risk of exposure this way.
We are sanitizing all carts and baskets at the front of our stores, and have stepped up our general sanitizing and cleaning procedures in all areas throughout stores, including staff areas. In terms of our bottle return program, we are still accepting returns, but asking customers to place them in the dedicated spaces, themselves, behind the cashes.
As of Monday, March 23rd we will have completed the installation of cashier shields, in all of our stores, to limit cashier exposure and protect our colleagues. We have identified physical distancing lines at each cash register, to keep people the recommended 6 feet apart. We encourage all shoppers to forgo cash payments, and opt for contactless payment whenever possible. We are also eliminating the use of reusable cups and mugs, and discouraging customers from bringing in and using reusable shopping bags. For those that do choose to use them, we are asking them to kindly bag their own groceries.
You’ve likely noticed that we have closed all of our Hot Bars, Salad Bars, Olive Bars, and in-store dining areas, to limit the opportunities for communal food handling. For the same reasons, we are suspending our full-service meat and seafood counters.
We know that these are significant changes, and recognize that, for the time being, the Farm Boy experience will be a little different than usual. We may have to make adjustments to these existing measures. We may have to add more. Rest assured that we will continue to keep you up to date, and do what we need to do to keep our stores open and running smoothly, to keep your cupboards stocked, and to keep our team and customers safe.
Thank you all for your understanding and patience. We have been amazed and humbled with the number of kind messages from all of you, especially the ones recognizing the incredible efforts of our staff. We share all the positive notes with them, and they are definitely helping to energize our teams and keep spirits high.
We will continue to communicate our changes to all of you. The quickest way to see them is to subscribe to our email list, visit the website or to follow us on our social media channels, which we are updating whenever we can with new information.
Keep safe, and we’ll be in touch.
|Jean Louis Bellemare||Jeff York|
|Farm Boy||Farm Boy|