In the never ending battle we seem to be in for the last few weeks we have been working double time to try and come up with programs which will help limit staff/volunteer risks as well as risks for our members/customers. We have recently been awarded rapid response grant funds from the New England Grassroots Environment Fund which means we were able to purchase some new equipment to increase the distance between our cashiers/volunteers and the public(the scale was a donation from Belfast Coop). It also allowed us to purchase a new contactless card reader so folks are able to pay without touching a keypad at all now (Works with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and most NFC Cards, Bangor Savings Bank has them available and a few other banks as well). We will be redirecting folks to the new system starting today. We will still be accepting cash, check and EBT from those that do not have the option of card payment and the other checkout area.
With the funds we have also been able to order some items for sanitation and to increase our public WIFI access for folks as well.
Thank you to everyone that has offered to volunteer and to those folks who have put in extra time putting up signage and helping coordinate all the projects!
During this uncertain time, we want you, our employees, volunteers, and community, to know that the Marsh River Co-op is doing all that we can to stay open and available during the days, weeks, and months ahead as the reality of life with COVID-19 unfolds. As of this writing the MRC will continue to have our doors open to the community. Effective March 27th, we will temporarily be changing our hours of operation to 10:00am – 5:00pm daily to allow for additional cleaning time and reduce the workload on our hardworking staff & volunteers. We will be continually evaluating whether we will continue to allow the public into the Co-op space and we may in future decide to move to curbside only. We are currently working on a curbside pickup option for folks in the area and we hope to have that up and running by next week at the latest. We will keep everyone updated as we proceed with this method of shopping. If in the interim you are not comfortable coming into the Co-op please give us a call at (207)722-3053 and we will see if we can make individual arrangements for the time being. We apologize we wont be able to roll this out sooner but we are making it up as we go along just like everyone else. We are regularly cleaning and sanitizing carts, baskets, and other surfaces. Our volunteers and staff are equipped with a mild bleach solution and are sanitizing the register area on a regular basis. We are also creating a monitored self checkout lane (were the Co-op info Kiosk currently is) with a scale, barcode scanner and contactless payment reader. Our cashiers/volunteers will still be able to advise you on your checkout experience but we are trying to increase the distance between them and customers so as to reduce the risk of infection so that we can continue to remain open and ensure their safety. To keep the Co-op accessible to all while protecting one another in the process, we expect the following from our customers:
Do not come into the Co-op if you are exhibiting any cold or flu-like symptoms including: low grade fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing
Sanitize your hands before entering the Co-op
Do not touch other people in the Co-op; respect people’s personal space by maintaining a six foot distance from each other whenever possible
Only touch products that you intend to buy
Do not linger in the store any longer than necessary
If possible, use electronic payment options including credit, debit or contactless payment. We may in future need to go completely cashless.
We reserve the right to limit the number of people in the store at one time; you may be asked to wait outside
We ask that you allow our staff or volunteers to fill your bulk containers for you.
If you or someone in your household has recently traveled to this region please do not come into the Co-op until the recommended CDC guideline of 14 day self quarantine has passed.
Signs will be going up around the store to emphasize these expectations.
In an effort to support our community in every way we can, the Co-op will continue to act as an internet café, specifically for those folks who don’t have internet at home. We will arrange our seating in such a way as to emphasize social distancing. We request that you limit the people at the tables to those in your immediate household, that you be mindful of the amount of time you spend in the Co-op, and that you sanitize your table when you are done. We reserve the right to ask you to leave the Co-op if we feel you are not meeting these expectations. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and understanding during these challenging times. Thank you for continuing to support your community’s Co-op. Please reach out with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 722-3053, and we will address them in as timely a manner as we are able.
First we want to wish everyone well in these trying times and we also want to apologize for not reaching out to everyone sooner but as many of you know it has been a hectic week here in Brooks. Thank you for everyone that was patient with us as we struggle along to keep the Co-op stocked and ready for business. We’re hoping we’ll be able to send out more regular updates as things settle in but feel free to reach out to us at any point if you need immediate assistance at (207) 722-3053 or email@example.com. Below we will be letting you know about changes to how we are operating and programs we are working on to improve everyones safety.
1. We are currently in the process of setting up a home delivery program for our members who are at high risk (immuno-comprimised, medical comorbity etc). We are hoping to role it out in the next few days, a few of our members have offered to do those deliveries and staff/volunteers will be working to fill orders once we get it rolling. We do have the capability to process Credit Card transactions over the phone so we aren’t limited in that capacity. We are also working on emailed receipts for members as well. More details to follow but if in the mean time you need something please reach out to us and we’ll do everything we can to help.
2. We are also in the process of setting up a self scan station where the Co-op Kiosk currently is. We are awaiting some equipment(Contactless card reader) to implement the self checkout but hopefully it will increase the distance between the cashier and the customer to decrease the risk of exposure and potentially even allow for sales when there is a remote cashier (still looking into the legality of this).
3. We are performing regular cleanings of frequently touched surfaces (door handles, card readers etc). We asked that you follow the instructions from the cashier to reduce contact with equipment whenever possible.
4. We have closed down the self-serve coffee cart for the time being. We will bring it back as soon as we have clear guidance on it’s use.
5. We are also currently evaluating availability/safety of volunteers and employees to staff the store so there may be more limitations in our hours in the future. We need to ensure that they remain healthy and well in order for the Co-op to remain open and functional
6. We are considering going cashless as a way to reduce hand to hand contact. We haven’t gotten to that yet but we may need to go that route soon.
7. We are struggling to remain stocked on certain items as high demand has placed pressure throughout the supply chains, though we have had good availability of local products and many of our farmers are working hard to make sure our shelves are stocked (big shout out to them).
8. We ask that if you are not feeling well for any reason that you not come to the Co-op for the time being. If you do need something please reach out to us and we will try and accomodate you in some other method.
There is tons more we could write about but we think we’ve hit on the big things for now. The important thing is that everyone stay as safe and as healthy as possible and we work together so that everyone makes it out the other side.
Just getting the word out for this years Farmer and Grower Potlock put on by the Waldo County Cooperative Extension. This year it’s moved from the United Farmers Market in Belfast over to the MOFGA Exhibition Hall in Unity. This years theme is Farm Safety and it includes Dinner (Potluck) and a show! Actors from our own local farms!
So we just finished putting out our deliveries from Kimble’s Kitchen and Mad Batter over from Unity. Come get your fresh pastries!
From the Mad Batter
Almond Bear Claws
Butter Top Bread
From Kimble’s Kitchen
Buttermilk Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Dairy Free English Muffins
Regular English Muffins
Blueberry Ricotta Custard Cake
We also received our Fedco seed rack for the spring season and a few new items over the course of the last few weeks. If you are ever looking for something please let us know and we’ll do our best to find it for you!
Aqua ViTea Turmeric Sunrise Kombucha in Bottles
Aqua ViTea Pineapple Lemonade Kombucha in Bottles
Equal Exchange Hot Cocoa Mix (Member Request)
Equal Exchange Total Eclipse 92% Dark Chocolate (Customer Request)
Bulk Organic Star Anise (Member Request)
Bulk Gentian Root (Customer Request)
Full rack of Fox Farm Chips (Plain, Salt&Vin, Sour Cream& Onion, BBQ, Salt&Pepper)