An Update to Our Customers about the COVID-19 Situation

March 18, 2020

Dear Fresh Thyme Customer,

From the day we opened our doors, Fresh Thyme has been committed to caring about our customers and all our team members. That commitment is even stronger and more heartfelt today, as we work within our communities during these very difficult times. We will provide you with updates periodically as the COVID-19 situation and its impact on your Fresh Thyme store evolves.

We understand how much you’re relying on us to help you be prepared during this crisis.
We’re focused on getting the products you need back on our shelves. Our supply chain and merchant teams are working closely with our suppliers to expedite product flow. We are thankful to our suppliers for partnering with us on fast solutions to benefit you, our customers.

We’ve been able to get some essential products back into our stores in limited quantities and are placing purchase limits on key items to ensure more customers have an opportunity to purchase what they need.

We continue to follow the CDC’s guidelines in response to this virus to ensure our stores are safe for you, including staying vigilant with our cleaning and sanitization practices, especially at high-frequency touch points like our check lanes, all service areas, and in team member work areas. We are working to ensure that you and our team members have consistent access to hand sanitizers and wipes which meet CDC requirements. Please feel free to use the available products throughout your shopping experience at Fresh Thyme.

We have seen incredible demand in our meat & seafood departments, and you may find full-service operations at our meat counters suspended temporarily depending on the store. This temporary service case closure allows our team members to prepare and package items for our self-service refrigerated cases and ensures products can be made available more quickly. Our salad and olive bars remain closed with pre-packaged options available in those areas. We have also received guidance from State agencies to limit some self-serve options in our Bulk departments. If you have any questions about or need products from these areas, please ask a team member for help.

And just as we’re following CDC guidelines, we’re asking our customers to do so too. Please practice social distancing while shopping in our stores, and as the CDC states, please stay home if you’re not feeling well. By working together in these ways, we can do our part to help prevent the spread of this virus in our communities.

We continue to work with our e-commerce provider, Instacart, on our home delivery program. Much as with our in-store experience, Instacart is experiencing unprecedented demand in this area and asks for your patience with the shoppers and delivery personnel from Instacart.

We have heard from so many of you about your experiences in our stores and how much you value our team members. Our store teams are focused on providing you with the products you need and ensuring that your experience is welcoming and safe. We love to share your stories back with our team members so please, continue to share your experiences with us.

With all our teams are doing, we can still use more help. We’re hiring additional seasonal team members in each of our stores to meet the demands of the business so you may see new faces at your local Fresh Thyme helping us to meet your needs. If you or someone you know is interested, please go directly to the store to apply in person.

We care for our team members and want them to feel confident staying home if they don’t feel well. In the interest of supporting our team members in their concerns, we are allowing those team members who wish, to wear gloves and masks, beyond those working in the food service and food preparation areas of our stores. Team members wearing gloves or masks are not signs that those team members are symptomatic for COVID-19. We value the dedication of our team members in their efforts serving the communities and we are trying to make every accommodation we can under the circumstances. We have several programs to support them, many of which have been in place for some time. These include:

  • A pay continuation program that allows those who are quarantined or who test positive for COVID-19 to stay home with pay.
  • Free online COVID-19 screenings from a board-certified doctor for all team members.
  • A backup care reimbursement program to offset the unexpected costs of unplanned care for children or adults.

While these are admittedly uncharted waters, we’ll continue to make decisions that support our purpose of enriching lives in the communities we serve. We appreciate the trust and confidence you’ve placed in us.

Gerald Melville
President, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market

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