The timing of the Rise N’ Shine pop up farmers market set for 4 until 6 this afternoon in the Swift & Finch parking lot is perfect. Anyone who’s been to local grocers in recent days can tell you why.
Nevermind the supposed run on toilet paper. The demand has spread to produce sections where bagged lettuce apparently can’t get stocked enough or near-empty meat counters where butchers are asking you to wait up to 20 minutes for the next batch of ground beef.
At least one store with online advance order options normally can have it ready maybe later that day. On Sunday orders, the wait time was midday Tuesday.
All the while, the stores resemble something akin to the days before Thankgiving with more shoppers and more demand. If someone from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was doing a head count for the under-50-person limit, they’d easily had found 200 or more people at quitting time Monday evening.
So why not try another option, outdoors and for just a few hours?
Says Elizabeth Lawson of Rise N’ Shine, almost a founding interest in the Between the Rivers Farmers Market from last summer: “We plan to take precaution measures for sanitizing to provide people with local fresh and local meats, cheeses, eggs and produce and grains and bread from local farms.” One advantage, she adds, is that everything “would be sold in open-air environment.”
As for the grocers: It is a battle for them as well. Consider the following post from GMC Value Mart in Coosa late Monday:
From Coosa Valley Credit Union urges at-home or drive-through transactions: “Most transactions can be performed at home. CVCU’s online and mobile banking allows you to perform many account transactions without visiting a branch. If you need help enrolling, please call us at 706-235-8551. If a transaction requires a branch visit, please use the drive through if at all possible. While our lobbies remain open to serve you, using the drive thru helps us all do our part to enact safe social distancing practices. Make sure you have a working debit card, and use it rather than handling cash when possible. You may visit any branch location to be instantly issued a debit card.”
Greater Community Bank close lobbies, urge drive-through, mobile banking: “For the protection of our customers and staff, we have made the decision to close our lobby at this time. We encourage all banking transactions take place using our drive-through or 24/7 Mobile/Online Banking services. For person-to-person needs, such as access to safety deposit boxes, please contact: Kristy Brown – 706.295.9300
- At the same time, Greater Community Bank was going in the other direction. Monday afternoon, customers were told that the ATM withdrawal limit had been raised to $500 and the point-of-sale limit had been extended to $1,500. The email came with this note: “In an effort to continue to provide you with the best service possible during this time, we’ve made some changes to debit card limits for both ATM withdrawals and POS.”
From Heritage First Bank: “At present, there are no plans to alter our open/close office schedules. As you plan your routine banking needs, I encourage you to consider using one of our convenient digital/alternate banking channels featured below:
- E-bank/Mobile App where account holders may engage in bill-pay, account transfers of funds and mobile deposits. For new users, enrollment is easy. Sign up today by visiting www.heritagefirstbank.com or download the Heritage First Banking App for your Apple or Android device.
- ATM Network to access cash with a reimbursement of out-of-network fees. Please contact your Heritage First banker to secure your card.
- Drive-through window services with no direct “in-person” contact at one of our conveniently located offices.
Look for limits on funeral services: From Barry R. Henderson, CEO/President of Henderson & Sons Funeral Home:
“In response to the public health concern associated with COVID-19, we are committed to providing the best possible service to our families during this crisis. The health and welfare of our community, client families, and our employees has always been a priority
“Based on the recommendations and guidelines provided by the CDC and the National Funeral Directors Association, we are implementing policies that may impose certain restrictions related to funeral and memorial services. These policies will remain in effect until further notice.
“We, as we have been for nearly 60 years, stand ready to face the unknown challenges ahead. Continue to pray for our community, our leaders, and our nation during this crisis, as we are.
“Please contact us directly at any of our locations for information and guidance.”
Temporary closings are beginning in our area:
Jandy’s Frozen Yogurt in Rome closes for now. Just after celebrating eight years in business, Jandy’s posted the following note on Monday:
“Due to the growing concern and rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus along with the customer hands on nature of the business, Jandy’s has decided to close until further notice. We will reasses the growing concerns for our teammembers and patrons to deliver a more safe distribution of our product during this time. We thank you all for your continued support of this locally owned small business and look forward to seeing you all again very soon.”
LakePoint Station in Emerson also takes a break: The complex, across from the main LakePoint Sports campus, “was designed to be a venue that assists with making memories that last a lifetime. The safety of our guests has always been a top priority. To that end, we went to extra measures to try and stay open with the cleanest, safest venue possible. However, due to recent developments with the ever so fast spreading COVID-19 virus and related health guidelines, LakePoint Station will cease operations through the rest of March. We will continue to monitor the situation and take further steps if necessary. Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to seeing you in the near future. If you have a party/event booked between now and April 1, we will be reaching out to you to discuss the next steps. Thank you, Seth Curlee, General Manager.”
Restaurant changes: We briefly mentioned some of these in Monday’s report. The list has since grown (we’re not actually compiling one but we did get a few calls) in the past 24 hours. The latest: “We will also be offering curbside check out/deliveries for those that want to pick up take-out food, growlers, and six-packs.” The menu includes a peppered corned beef grilled cheese.”
- Rome City Brewing Co. Calling it a “Sanitized St. Patty’s Day,” the brewery and the Hoptimist/SpeakCheesy offer the following: “We will also be offering curbside check out/deliveries for those that want to pick up take-out food, growlers, and six-packs.” The menu includes a peppered corned beef grilled cheese.”
- Chick-fil-A now drive-through only. That includes Truett’s Chick-fil-A on Shorter Avenue while the Riverside and mall locations remain in normal operation. The hours remain the same.
- Harvest Moon is open: Now offering curbside pick up and free delivery for orders $25 or more within 10 miles of Harvest Moon.
- Jerusalem Grill adds delivery plus…: “And also not wanting to get out of your car… we totally understand – So call in your order and we will bring it to your car when you get here (almost Drive-Thru service) whatever we can do to help.”
- Chicken Salad Chick’s Cartersville restaurant to open Wednesday (dining room and drive through) but is delaying its grand opening until April 29. Hours: 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily except Sundays.
- The CSC Rome location is offering delivery service but there’s a $5 fee. Check with the store Facebook page.
- Crawdaddy’s goes take-out only “Given the latest guidelines from the government that we should limit our exposure to 10 people or less, we will be take out only for the next 15 days. We are simply trying to do our part in helping slow the spread of this virus. Please stay safe and heed the advice of the experts.”
- Bistro 208: Lunch service is discontinued; week brunch remains. Dinner 5-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 9 p.m. Friday,Saturday. 10% off all to go orders; 25% off all bottles of wine with to go orders. Orders can be taken out to cars at either front or back entrance.