As we approach the one-year mark of the local start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawthorne Valley Farm Store wants you to know that we have been hard at work making sure we have all the supplies you and your families need during this time. Demand has been, and continues to be, at an all-time high, and there have inevitably been some products out of stock. We make every effort to bring out-of-stock items back as quickly as possible. We are also making every effort to keep our customers and employees safe. Read on for answers to some of our most frequent safety questions.
What is the store’s policy on mask wearing?
All shoppers are required to wear a face mask that fully covers their nose and mouth. You are required to keep your face mask on for the duration of your visit. All of our employees are required to take a daily health assessment and wear masks as well. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you come to the store and forgot to bring a mask, we have disposable medical masks available for your use. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who refuses to wear a face mask.
What if I have a medical condition that makes wearing a mask difficult?
We understand that for some people, wearing a mask is not possible due to a medical condition. For those customers, we offer online shopping with curbside pickup. Local delivery (within 10 miles of the store) is also an option. Our online shopping platform offers the full range of our products, and can be accessed here. If you do not have access to the internet, or find online shopping difficult, you may also place orders over the phone by calling 518-672-7500 x 277.
How are customers able to maintain social distancing inside the store?
We realize that our store is on the small side, so we ask that when possible, please shop alone, or bring only one family member. At times of peak patronage we will station a staff member at the entrance to limit the number of people in the store at one time. During those times, you may experience a short wait time before being allowed in the store. We ask for your patience under those circumstances and suggest that you dress for the weather in case you do have to wait. We also ask that if you come to shop and know that there is a line at the door, please be considerate and don’t linger in the store.
It is helpful to make a list prior to your visit so that you know what you’re looking for and can shop efficiently. We do look forward to a time when the store can again be a place for socializing and leisurely browsing. In the meantime, we ask for your patience and consideration.
Additionally, we ask everyone to be courteous and observe social distancing by keeping a safe distance (six feet or more) from others while inside the store whenever possible. We do have markers leading up to the registers indicating appropriate spacing. Please be courteous and observe these measures.
What extra cleaning/sanitizing measures does the store have in place?
We are continuing to maintain our high standards of cleaning by rigorously sanitizing our carts, baskets, door handles, and surfaces throughout the day. Items from the bulk area are currently pre-bagged, and we ask that you request assistance from a staff member to purchase items from the bakery case. Cart and basket sanitizer stations have been set up for customer use.
Is your deli bar open?
Out of an abundance of caution, we have temporarily stopped providing an open salad and hot bar. Instead, we are offering pre-packaged salads and daily hot and cold specials in the same location. We know this is not ideal with the amount of waste this generates, but it is only temporary.
Is the café available for indoor dining?
We have also temporarily closed our café area. It’s currently functioning as our curbside order stationing area. Once the warm weather arrives, we will be reopening our outdoor eating area under and around our pavilion.
Are you keeping the public informed if/when an employee contracts COVID?
Yes. We have had several instances of employees who either had direct exposure to someone with COVID, or themselves contracted the virus. In every case we have been transparent with the public, have worked closely with the Columbia County Health Department to conduct contact tracing, and have followed prescribed quarantining measures. No employees have returned to work until they had cleared quarantine.
We are continuing to monitor all COVID-19 directives and information put forth by national, state, and local officials, and will respond accordingly.
Thank you for your patronage and for your help in making our store a safer place to shop. We can’t do this without you!