MRC Updates 04/03/2020

Hey Everyone,

So a few new things going on here at the Co-op. The biggest one is regarding the mandatory restrictions for only having 5 customers in the Co-op at one time. We’ve come up with a system whereby there is a light bulb at the door to let you know if you need to wait before you come in. If the light is on please come on in and do your shopping. If the light is off please wait outside either in your vehicle or in designated spots. The light will go back on when we are below the 5 person threshold. We’d also like to hear from our at risk community what time they would prefer for them to be exclusive for them? Most places are going for the morning but we’ve noticed that more people are out during that time so maybe not the best time?

Also we didn’t receive very many online orders from our first trial so we thought we would open it up for folks to have it available everyday for 5-10 items. If you’d like to place larger orders please do so but it might take us longer to have that ready for you. We are still accepting call in orders at this time but we are trying to keep those to a minimum where we only have the one phone line right now. If you need help or have questions please call (207) 722-3053 or email marshriverordering@gmail.com. We’ve also added a tab to our website which has the direct link for our online ordering system. Thanks to everyone that has put in time and energy to make all these projects happen on almost a daily basis!

20200403_144753

MRC Updates April 1st: Stay At Home Order and Curbside Pickup

Hey Folks,

Well another month is upon us and with everything that’s been going on there are a bunch of new changes in Co-op operations. If you have any questions about these changes please feel free to reach out to us.

With Govenor Mills new stay at home order we have some operational updates. We are classified as essential but based on our square footage we are only allowed to have 5 customers in the store at one time. We are working on a system for the main entrance to alert people when it is ok to come into the Co-op. Please follow the instructions of the staff/volunteers at all times. We will also be locking the rear entrance for the time being so that we can ensure we adhear to the new guidelines. We are also researching what would be the best time for our at risk populations to shop so that we can have an exclusive time for them (feedback welcome). We’d like to continue to keep our doors open to the public, though we aren’t ruling anything out at this point, so that those with cash only or who use EBT/SNAP can still shop (did you know 7% of Americans have no bank at all? Or that EBT/SNAP benefits have to be used in person?)

We also want to let everyone know that we think we are ready to roll out the new curbside pickup program (please see instructions below). It’s probably going to be bumpy for a little bit until we see where we need to make changes to make it more efficient. I want to thank everyone that has offered to volunteer to fill orders after hours!

All orders must be made between 12:00pm – 4:00pm Thursday. Pickup between 10:00am – 4:00pm Friday only.

Please contact the store by telephone (207)722-3053 when you are on your way and we will place your items outside of the loading bay doors (large white double doors to the right of our main entrance)

If we see too high a demand we will let everyone know that we need to shutdown orders for the day in order to catch up. At this time we will be prioritizing members and those who are at high risk. We will attempt to fill all orders but we reserve the right to cancel orders as needed. Items will be picked on a first come first serve basis.

1. Customers can navigate to our new shopify store at:
https://marsh-river-cooperative.myshopify.com/

2. Customers can either browse products by selecting “Catalog” or looking for items using the search bar at the top right corner. At this time we are not guaranting the availablity of any items due to increased demand and lack of availability in the supply chain. We request that you order between 5-15 products only. 


3. Once a customer has added all their items to their shopping cart they can go to “Checkout”. 


4. You will be asked to put in a contact email or telephone number (We prefer email whenever possible) along with shipping information. This is more for the billing information later and all items will be picked up curbside at the Co-op.


5. Then Select “Continue to Shipping”


6. Then Select “Continue to Payment”


7. Customers will enter their payment information as well as place a check mark that their billing info is he same as their shipping info.


8. Then select “Place Order”


9. Customers will receive a confirmation number and email for their order. Please be advised your credit card will not be charged until your order has been filled so your final total may be different if we have out of stocks. We will also be adjusting sales tax on the back end as well so your total may be slightly different.

MRC Updates 03/28/2020: Announcing our Self Scan Aisle!

Hey Folks,

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!

20200328_160305

Updates for the Marsh River Cooperative 03/25/2020

Dear Marsh River Co-op Community Members,

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 marshrivercooperative@gmail.com or (207) 722-3053, and we will address them in as timely a manner as we are able.

20200325_165040

Update for the Marsh River Cooperative

Hey Folks,

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 marshriverordering@gmail.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.

Matthew Mckillop, Manager

Marshr River Cooperative

Pastries and New Things 03/08/2020

Hey Folks,

We received our pastry delivery today from Kimble’s Kitchen and Mad Batter so if you are looking for local pastry action come on in!

Kimble’s Kitchen

  1. Orange Olive Oil Cake
  2. English Muffins
  3. Dill Bread
  4. Buttermilk Corn Bread
  5. Snicker doodles

Mad Batter

  1. Raspberry Turnovers
  2. Almond Bear claws
  3. Cinnamon Rolls
  4. Spinach Quiche
  5. Peach Cobbler
  6. Apple Cobbler
  7. Walnut Raisin Sticky Bunn

And we have a few new items this week,

  1. Rapunzel Veggie Boullion Jar (Member Request)
  2. Dr. Bronner Patchouli Lime Lotion (Member Request)
  3. Ricola Cough Drops (Member Request)
  4. To Go Ware Small Metal Container (Member Request)
  5. Slim Food Grater
  6. Honey Bee 100% Beeswax Tapers
  7. Dr. Bronner Peppermint Soap in Bulk (Member Request)

20200308_165838