"We understand it's a huge inconvenience." California Fresh Market provides specific hours for senior citizens, immune-compromised

Posted at 11:59 AM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 18:45:38-04

The groups that are most at risk amid the COVID-19 outbreak are getting some extra time to shop at a local grocery story.

Since Wednesday, California Fresh Market started opening its doors from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. specifically for senior citizens and those who are immune-compromised.

"We understand that it's a huge inconvenience for them to not to be able to come in and shop during regular hours and being asked to stay in," said DJ Deutsch, General Manager for the Pismo Beach store. "People have to eat so we want to be there for people and make sure they can eat quality food and fresh quality food and try to beat the crowds a little bit. "

Since implementing the schedule Wednesday, Deutsch says it's been very well received by customers.

"When I got here Wednesday morning, the parking lot was completely full," Deutsch said. "Every register was open and it was pretty busy, and then today was even busier."

Deutsch says all California Fresh Market stores have increased attention to sanitation, wiping down cart handles, door handles, check stands, pin pads and more.

"Anything we can think that people might touch, we're wiping them down at least every hour and more frequently if we can," Deutsch said.

In his 23 years of working in the grocery business, Deutsch says it's unlike anything he's ever seen. As items fly off the shelves, the store is working to accommodate all customers.

"The supply chain has been limited for the last couple of days but logistically they have figured it out a little bit so they've set minimums for retailers on how much they can order and what will be delivered and now it's been a smoother transition, we're just not getting as much as we need to meet the demand."

Deutsch says the specific hours will continue as needed, but general customers outside of the at-risk group can shop 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

"We adjusted our hours overall to a little bit later open and a little bit early close so we have more time uninterrupted to get stuff onto the shelves," Deutsch said. "Still a work in progress but we're making adjustments."

For details on other stores offering specific hours for senior citizens and those who are immune-compromised, click here.