Coronavirus Preparedness at the Co-op
The Ashland Food Co-op acknowledges and shares our community’s concerns about protecting against the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The safety and health of staff and customers is a top priority for the Co-op. We are taking proactive steps throughout our store to maintain a clean atmosphere to work and shop.
We have consolidated store changes below.
We are following health guidelines to make the best effort to keep everyone safe in our store by requiring masks while shopping.
Thank you for supporting the health & safety of your neighbors and your Co-op staff.
Hours of operation:
- 7-8am: priority shopping for vulnerable community members.
- Store hours remain 7am-9pm.
- The AFC Kitchen and hot bar closes at 8pm. Co-op owners can order from the kitchen online.
Before entering the store:
- All staff and shoppers in the store must wear a mask or face covering. Free temporary masks are available at the Customer Service Desk.
- Metered entry - During busy periods, Co-op staff may ask you to wait until another shopper has left before entering the store, to allow room to maintain social distancing.
- Please leave reusable bags, containers, and mugs at home. Paper grocery bags and plastic produce bags are available free of charge.
- Sanitizing wipes are available at all cart stations. A portable hand washing station is also available outside of the store.
- Please do not hang out or otherwise loiter in the Co-op courtyard or store.
- The parking ambassador service has been postponed for the time being.
In the store:
- Aisles are one way -
Please follow the "one way" stickers on the store floor to help maintain distance in aisles.
- A no-touch hand sanitizer dispenser is located at the Information Desk and to the right of the exit doors.
- Plastic gloves must be used in the “high-touch” areas throughout our store (bulk department, bulk greens, and fresh mushroom case).
- The Co-op cannot breakdown or re-wrap any meat or seafood that has entered our selling floor. Other special requests can not be accommodated until further notice.
- Bulk nut butters are being individually packaged and stored in the bulk cooler.
- Please help protect cashiers and yourself by bagging your own groceries, if you are able.
- Plexiglass barriers have been installed to help protect cashiers and shoppers where social distancing isn't possible. Thanks to the many shoppers who encouraged this addition.
- You'll find social distancing reminder stickers at checkout stands and throughout the store. Thanks for helping to share your space.
- No outside mugs or containers are permitted.
- All indoor and outdoor seating has been removed.
- The hot bar, salad bar and soup bar are no longer self-service; Co-op employees will help to box your meal to-go.
- Self-serve coffee is no longer available.
- The Co-op has increased the number of items available as “Grab & Go” selections.
Special orders & returns:
- The Co-op cannot accept any special orders until further notice.
- To reduce potential contamination, all sales are final and no returns will be accepted.
Classes, events and sales:
- All classes and events are canceled or postponed until further notice.
- AFC sales flyer and insert will be canceled until further notice. The National Co+op Grocers bi-weekly flyer is available here.
Links to information providing illness prevention steps and facts about COVID-19 can be found below.
Since March 1, staff are receiving a 'hero' differential pay as an acknowledgment of their essential service to the community.
Cloth masks for staff
Led by board member Julie O'Dwyer, a group of Co-op friends worked hard over several days to make two cloth masks for each employee, in accordance with new recommendations from the CDC and OHA.
Thanks to these selfless, thoughtful community members for their contributions to everyone's safety:
Joe Dunbar - 200 masks at a discounted price; Erin McConnell - 45 masks and counting; Erica Thompson - 30 masks; board member Trine Ostergaard - 30 masks; Jenni Presley - 7 masks; Christine Begley - 30 masks.
More Co-op News
Until a crisis like this occurs, few think of Grocers as essential service providers. However, our employees have been here day in and day out, risking their health and the safety of their loved ones, to provide food for our community. This is not a job that can be done from home or from what is now considered a safe social distance. Our employees have worked with the utmost professionalism, care, and concern for shopper well-being.
The Co-op's general manager, Emile Amorotico, sat down with the newest addition to the co-op's management team, Reagan Roach. Get to know Reagan in the interview below - and say hi when you see him in store!
- Wishgarden Herbs - Kick Ass Immune: Your total frontline immune defense!
- Oshala Farm - Oshala Fire Cider: Locally made in the Applegate. It tastes so good you could craft a healthy dressing with this fire cider!
- Mickelberry Gardens - Elderberry: Great Immune support for kids and adults. Made in Oregon.
by Rianna Koppel, Co-op Sustainability Coordinator
At the Ashland Food Co-op, we are committed to becoming Zero Waste by 2030. Along the way, we’ve learned a lot about packaging and single-use at our store. Our owners care deeply about reducing plastic waste, and we do too!
At the co-op, we have many different bag options… So what's the best choice?
Why serve on the Board of Directors at the Ashland Food Coop? This was the question that I was faced with about a year ago.
I have lived, worked and shopped in Ashland for the last 20 years. Many of those years I have actively participated on non-profit boards, civic organizations and committees. However, in the last few years I stepped away from those responsibilities to focus on family and business life.
By Henry Herting, Co-op garden volunteer
It's that fun time of the year when we get to plan our gardens. This year since our pollinators are taking such a hard hit, we are planning a pollinator garden.
Some plants that are considered good for pollinators are not so good fo the gardeners. They are invasive; they are weeds. Nobody likes weeds in their garden - who likes getting down on their knee pads and clawing at deep-rooted weeds growing in places where you don't want them?
We are excited to announce the official launch of Rogue To Go at the Ashland Food Co-op!
Rogue To Go is a reusable container pilot program. The pilot connects five participating restaurants by offering a reusable container that can be used for meals to-go and help eliminate single-use boxes. These O2GO containers are made locally in Bend, Oregon by OZZI. The bright green containers are 100% recyclable through a specialty recycler - truly zero waste!
How can you start using Rogue To Go? Check out the steps below and follow along with a walk-through video.
For over 25 years, the Ashland Food Co-op has been re-investing in the local community by awarding grants to non-profit organizations doing important work in the Rogue Valley. Putting the seventh cooperative principle, "concern for community," into action, over $30,000 was donated in 2019 - and in 2020, there are even more opportunities for non-profits.
We are giving our store a much-needed fresh coat of paint. We think you'll enjoy the changes!
The painting team will begin our project on February 5th, 2020 with a start time of 9pm.
The entire retail store, deli serving area and interior seating area will receive a fresh new coat of paint.
If all goes as planned, our painting project should be finished by February 20.
Will Store Hours Change?
No. We will be painting from 9pm to 5am.
Looking to explore some new citrus varieties? Know more before you go! Check out the many types of sweet, sour and somewhere in between that you can enjoy at the Co-op! (Availability may vary due to seasonality.)
It's a month of giveaways from Taste for Life!
Giveaway #1 has finished up - so it's time for #2! This giveaway runs 1/27-2/2, so sign up below.
This package includes: NOW's Sabucus Zinc-C lozenges, Mushroom Wisdom's SX-Fraction, Bluebonnet's Stress Release formula, ChildLife's First Defense immune formula, Vitafusion's Organic Women's Multi vitamin, Quantum Health's Eye Health supplement, Kyo-Green Sprouts Blend digestion supplement, Solgar's full spectrum Curcumin supplement, and Solgar's No. 7 joint comfort supplement.
As part of the Rogue Co-ops, a group of Rogue Valley cooperative businesses that includes Ashland Food Co-op, Grange Co-op, Medford Food Co-op, and Rogue Credit Union, we're excited to offer a scholarship opportunity to local high school students planning on attending college.
The Rogue Co-ops have collectively funded a $2,000 scholarship (and Grange Co-op offers an additional eight $1,500 scholarships) for students (in public, private or home school settings) who meet the following requirements:
The AFC Board of Directors is looking for owner-volunteers for three board committees: the Owner Engagement Committee (OEC), Board Development Committee (BDC), and AFC Gives Committee.
Our team has been working on many different projects throughout the year, taking great steps to fulfill our four sustainability goals. Our four goals to achieve by 2030 are: carbon neutrality, zero waste, eliminating toxic chemicals, and being a leader in our sustainable community. We look forward to our sustainable success in the upcoming decade!