Foodie’s Taking Measures to Safely Serve the Community

Local businesses across the city are working to make sure their employees and customers stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, while still making sure they meet customers’ needs.

Foodie’s Market is no different. With locations in the South End and South Boston, owners Vic Leon, Jr. and his father, Vic Leon Sr. have implemented measures in the stores to make sure people stay safe and items remain in stock.

“We’re doing a lot of sanitizing at the store; wiping down door knobs, pin pads, shelving, any sort of high traffic area that poses risk,” Leon Jr. told the Sun. “We’ve put stripes on the floor guiding customers to stay six feet apart.”

Additionally, Foodie’s has implemented senior shopping hours from 8:00am to 9:00am and have installed plexiglass shields at checkout counters to protect both customers and cashiers. He also said that cashiers are encouraged to wear masks. The stores also close an hour earlier to make it easier on staff. Stores are now open from 8:00am to 8:00pm Monday through Saturday, and 8:00am to 7:00pm on Sundays.

Leon Jr. said that they have reached out to several different suppliers to make sure they can keep highly sought after items in stock, such as toilet paper. “We’ve got a handful of suppliers that we’re getting product from,” he said. “Before, it would have only been one or two.”

He said that due to the small scale of the store, he believes that Foodie’s has been successful in getting these types of products. “We’re able to be a little more nimble than the box stores,” he said.

For a while, he said people were buying “an unbelievable amount of meat,” such as chicken and beef products. “That seems to have leveled off a bit,” he said. But as for cleaning products, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper—“those are still a challenge to try and get.” He also said that flour is another item that seems to be in high demand.

Foodie’s has also launched an online delivery service at the South Boston location, but Leon Jr. said he hopes to expand it to the South End. Grocery delivery service Mercato is used to deliver the groceries, but the orders are hand-picked by Foodie’s employees, he said. He also said he is hiring staff members at the South End location to do the picking.

“The staff has been unbelievable through this period,” Leon Jr. said. “They’re all hands on deck supporting each other; supporting the customers. It’s been sort of a heartwarming thing.”
 Leon Jr. said he’s “lucky” to have “great managers” who have worked at the store long-term that he’s able to rely on. He thanked Foodie’s customers for their support and business.

“We feel strongly that we are an essential business and are doing our best to stay open,” he said. “Thank you for your patience. If things aren’t as efficient as they normally are, please be patient as we are trying our best to continue to service everybody.”

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