At Elm City Market in New Haven, customers are finding more than they bargained for.
“It’s nice to come here and find that I can get pretty much everything I need,” said shopper Kimberly Cole.
The local grocery store has most of their shelves stocked and is working hard to keep them that way.
“We have been able to get what we need and it’s a matter of keeping it that’s a little difficult,” said Hannah Pimenta, assistant manager.
They placed large orders early, so while other food stores have bare shelves and limited supplies, the independent grocery store has been able to work with their distributer closely.
“We had toilet paper for a very long time, we still have paper towels, we had wipes for a very long time and they’re still coming in and out,” said Pimenta.
Now their strategy is to keep their orders low so they get filled. They’ll request one of most items and their distributer will bring what they can, spreading items out across different stores.
“If you have an order with 3,000 pieces because you’re asking for 20 of everything, they’re less likely to be able to fill it so they’re not going to fill it at all.”
And they’d rather have a little than none at all, a plan that is working out so far. Most pantry items are available and they get daily shipments of items like meats and eggs.
“There are a few things that are running low but basically you can get everything,” said Cole.
But some items are hard to keep on the shelves.
“Lentils. Lentils are in really high demand for some reason,” said Pimenta.
They’re also supporting employee safety by encouraging them to stay six feet apart at work and getting rest at home.
“We’re encouraging employees to not burn themselves out,” said Pimenta. “If anyone is not feeling well at all, slightest symptoms go to the doctor, take the time you need.”
She says they’ve seen an increase in business lately and they’re glad they can keep serving New Haven. They’re even offering free delivery and curbside pickup for customers who want to keep their distance.
“We did offer the free delivery because we are encouraging our customers to stay home and stay safe, so anyone within an 8 mile radius we are delivering to just to try be helpful.”