CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -This could be the most important week to stay home and avoid going to the store for essentials, but you don’t have to go without.
Many local vendors and businesses are making their inventory and products available for delivery or curbside, contactless pick up.
“Besides being a revenue decision, a huge core of our guests are elderly. This has given them an easy, safe alternative to going to the grocery store,” said Tim Davin, Director of Operations for NCR Ventures.
“We worked with our local vendor Northern Hasserot to put together a shopping list of bulk supplies: chicken, beef, vegetables, bread, milk. We made a simple shopping list online. Our guests can call in their order. We pack it up, and our guest pull up curbside and we will put in their truck,” said Davin.
Davin says the response has been nothing but positive.
“We’ve had calls from other states ordering for their family here locally,” said Davin.
Perfectly Imperfect Produce is poised to complete 1500 orders this week, about half of which come from new customers.
“Our business has tripled in just a few weeks,” said Ashely Weingart, Founder of Perfectly Imperfect Produce.
The company, which distributes “ugly” or surplus fruits and vegetables, will be getting roughly 30,000 pounds of produce out to people through delivery or pick-ups this week alone.
“Our home delivery is much safer than going to the market because you are not coming into contact with anyone else. You order online and we deliver your box right to do your door,” Weingart said.
They are currently only offering produce but are working on adding other products in the very near future.
“Perfectly Imperfect Produce takes the health and safety of our customers very seriously. We adhere to the most stringent food safety guidelines. All surfaces are sanitized and disinfected before and after packing,” she said.
Employees there are packing products with clean gloves and masks that are changed with each use and delivery drivers are also wearing gloves now as well.
Sirna & Sons Produce primarily worked with restaurants, colleges, hospitals and corporate cafeterias, but social distancing left them with a mountain of incoming produce, with nowhere to go.
“We probably had upwards of 15 loads of produce that were on the road the day that everything got shut down,” said Tom Sirna.
They are now offering pre-order wholesale boxes of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and protein, for pick up in Ravenna and Norwalk.
“It was unbelievable how much support we got from the local communities. The first day that we did it, it was overwhelming. We had to redo our portal so it was easier to order, easier to pay for,” Sirna said.
Customers must order two days before and pick up on a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday.
Great Lake Growers also just introduced curbside service in response to demand.
“Right now, we are only doing a mixed case of our favorite 8 lettuces. They are shipped in a box with a waterproof liner in the box. The lettuce still has the roots attached so the shelf life is quite incredible, 2 weeks at least,” said owner John Bonner.
Bonner says customers can choose their pick-up day, Monday through Friday between 10:00 a.m. and noon, then call when they arrive and an employee will put the box of living lettuce in your trunk or backseat.
“Physical distance is maintained. It’s really fast. The process takes about 3 minutes from call to us putting the package in your car and it’s also extremely safe,” Bonner said.
They’re taking additional measures we are taking to stay bacteria or virus free.
Bonner says the response has been incredible.
“We had about 30 people sign up in the first 24 hours of posting it on our Facebook page,” he said.