Town Square

Post a New Topic

Eggs are sold out. Hand sanitizer is on backorder. Strained staff are working overtime. Here's how Midpeninsula grocery stores are responding to the coronavirus

Original post made on Apr 9, 2020

Local grocery stores and their employees are on their own front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The precautions they're taking have intensified as officials doubled down on social distancing.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 9, 2020, 8:40 AM

Comments (33)

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2020 at 10:05 am

Thanks for this article, it is helpful and positive in these difficult times to know what to expect when we go for groceries.

Many, many thanks to our grocery workers. We appreciate all that you do and for the ways you are keeping us and yourselves safe.

Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 9, 2020 at 10:09 am

With so many people unemployed these days and demand for groceries higher than ever, it would make sense for the grocery stores to ramp up their hiring, including for home delivery services.

Posted by YP
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 9, 2020 at 10:20 am

excellent article about what our local stores are facing during these difficult times. We really appreciate all the workers at these stores taking risks with their own lives to help us get the food and products we need.

Posted by LosAltosDoc
a resident of Los Altos
on Apr 9, 2020 at 11:48 am

I am extremely uncomfortable waiting for up to 1/2 hour in an outdoor line because that's far too much time to be "close" and downwind from people who may be infectious. I'm far more comfortable once I get into the store, double-masked and with safety glasses and a wool watch cap and a hoodie over my head. I wash all of my outer clothes and take a shower when get home. It's better to look like a street person than get sick.

As for home delivery, I don't want food that has been handled by strangers working gig jobs. Veggies are all frozen or canned, and I treat the plastic bags and cans as contaminated. Amazon Prime is tapped out, and local grocery stores also are unable to meet demand for home delivery.

Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 9, 2020 at 11:53 am

Thanks for this terrific article, Elena. I have been a loyal Piazza's customer for many, many years. Their system for controlling the number of customers has been first-rate. And the quality of the fish, meat and produce is, as always, terrific. I have always enjoyed seeing the smiling faces of the many employees who have been there SO many years. And I appreciate their risking themselves so I can eat! I do try to limit my visits to, at the most, once a week.

Posted by Erin
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 9, 2020 at 12:15 pm

Dittmers has an excellent system in place -- no more than 6 shoppers at a time in the wholes store, directional shopping in zones, cashier behind plastic and she even disinfects the pens you sign the receipt with. They are well stocked with their delicious meats and imports. I'm planning to go there at least once a week-- it's a small business we really value.

Posted by Senior Shopper
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 9, 2020 at 12:22 pm

I visited Whole Foods in Palo Alto yesterday during senior hours. Most employees were not wearing face masks. The greeter said they were not required to wear them. Every senior in line was wearing a mask.

Posted by Michelle
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 9, 2020 at 1:06 pm

We love the market!!! Thank you so much for helping through this time. I can’t wait for the days that I get to shop every day before dinner again. Take good care of yourselves and your employees!

Thank you!

Posted by bill1940
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 9, 2020 at 1:09 pm

With respect to "Senior shopper," do note that the Whole Foods' checkers are all well protected by sufficiently sized plastic shields.

They are a wonderful crew as are those elsewhere. !000 thank yous to all of them.

Posted by no issues down this way
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 9, 2020 at 1:17 pm

Have been to many stores in Mtn View and Sunnyvale, Safeway, Smart & Final, Ava's downtown Market, Trader Joe's Sunnyvale, and Lucky Sunnyvale, Costco MV, all of them were well stocked for the most part. If you time it right it right you can get what you need.

Posted by ALB
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 9, 2020 at 1:23 pm

Thank you Elena for this piece. Why wasn't Mollie Stones included as they are down the street from your office? Edgewood and Piazza markets are great grocery stores. Edgewood needs to follow the example of Piazza Market and Mollie Stones and get plexiglass barriers installed. This will help both checkers and customers while giving support to your vital employees.

Posted by Nijiya
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 9, 2020 at 1:33 pm

Nijiya market near 85 has senior time from 9:30 - 10 am. That have plexiglass by the checkout counters. They do not have paper or cleaning products. But they have a nice selection of prepared food, meat and fish and Asian snacks.

Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 9, 2020 at 2:00 pm

Another shout out for Mollie Stones Market. Management and staff all performing at the highest levels of safety and customer service.

Posted by Piazzas shopper
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 9, 2020 at 2:26 pm

Thanks to the Piazza's staff for all they are doing. I have made the suggestion that they put in arrows for one way traffic on the various aisles to the staff, but as yet they have not done this. It is hard to pass without getting less than 6' from a fellow shopper, so making the aisles one way would help. Otherwise, everything there is great.

Posted by Robert Cronin
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 9, 2020 at 2:38 pm

Safeway has signs "Two to a customer" on the toilet paper shelves, and the shelves are still empty. Have been for three weeks now. How about "One to a customer?"

Posted by sunnypa
a resident of Gunn High School
on Apr 9, 2020 at 2:46 pm

Big kudos to Bianchini's and its management who is keeping the employees safe by giving them N95 masks, store credit and free grocery items to help out at home. We love supporting our local, non-chain, small grocery stores that feel like family to us.

Posted by M&M
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 9, 2020 at 3:22 pm

Shout out to The Willows Market for responding to their customers’ needs. TP, scones, hand sanitizer, eggs, milk, cornmeal pizza - all available. They update their Facebook page regularly and will shop for you or let in a small number of customers at a time.

Posted by Liz Gardner
a resident of Mayfield
on Apr 9, 2020 at 3:36 pm

To quote: "The coronavirus has forced independent grocery stores to abruptly adapt their business models, including by offering curbside pickup and home delivery — both labor-intensive changes for small, local businesses..." This is great news for local families and individual, however business models such as Piazza's, Roberts have not advanced their models enough to accept EBT Cal Fresh SNAP benefits. Regardless of deliveries that is not available to low-income families I must give a shout out to Molly Stones, The Market at Edgewood and Country Sun all these markets gladly accept EBT (electronic benefit transfer) for local families with absolutely no judgment. As this emergency advances into summer, it's imperative that the grocery stores who turn away low-income SNAP EBT benefit families, individuals, people of color who are stats are revealing are equity disadvantages, and more vulnerable to this virus have to travel further for essential trips by foot, bike or car. For the stores who now do not accept these benefits are not only loosing potential revenue are also discriminating our most vulnerable citizens, elders on fixed income of the Palo Alto and the Peninsula.

Posted by mjh
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 9, 2020 at 4:26 pm

Don't understand way Mollie Stone's was ignored in this article. They are a great store and the staff are great. I hope the Palo Alto Weekly online will do a piece on Molly Stone's to make up for leaving them out!

Posted by TuppenceT
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 10, 2020 at 12:06 am

Thank you Piazza employees, especially Karen!

Posted by Hall
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 10, 2020 at 8:12 am

Piazza gouges its customers on a wide variety of items. It carelessly inflates prices without justification. Price compare yourself!!

Posted by Local
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 10, 2020 at 12:47 pm

Thank you Emel.
You have been great.
The N95 masks should be given to grocery workers and they should be qualified as essential workers.

Posted by tom kearns
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Apr 10, 2020 at 12:50 pm

I'm a senior and shopped the last 2 thursdays at 8AM at Safeway on San Antonio
road. Short lines, plenty of product. Stop whining!!

Posted by Thank you, local groceries.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 13, 2020 at 7:56 pm

I think the local stores have been doing a pretty good job keeping things we need on the shelves, especially considering supply chain problems they have to contend with now.

I appreciate the cheerful clerks. I appreciate that they are managing lines carefully for everyone's safety. Thank you, local groceries and your wonderful employees for staying open to keep us nourished. I am grateful. I wish you continued good health in this time.

Posted by Chip
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 14, 2020 at 12:19 pm

Gosh whillikers!! Quel surprise.
Eggs in short supply 3 days before Easter?? Happens every year. Ever heard of dyeing eggs to amuse the kiddies? Even more common this year because families are supposed to stay home so backyard egg hunts increased.
Think before complaining, please.oVDwz

Posted by Family Friendly
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 14, 2020 at 4:49 pm

I can sort of understand stockpiling non-perishables like toilet paper, since you'll use it eventually anyway.

But who the hell is buying up all the eggs? They're going to go bad and you'll have to throw them away!

Posted by Green Gables
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 14, 2020 at 6:06 pm

Does this mean that there is toilet paper?

Posted by Family Friendly
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 14, 2020 at 6:09 pm

You can order toilet paper from Amazon. UPS will bring it right to your door.

Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2020 at 3:30 am

Pssst: I have 3 egg-laying chickens for sale: $1500

Posted by Trudy
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 15, 2020 at 8:11 am

A 30% discount at piazzas is still overpriced. You looked at their prices lately?

Posted by Apps?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 15, 2020 at 9:12 am

What App is anyone using to find out what's in stock at any store before we plan our shopping trips?

I was disappointed to discover that all local Safeways were out of produce yesterday, so annoying to not know in advance. We need to have a good tech way of checking before we venture out.

Posted by Robert Cronin
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 16, 2020 at 12:21 pm

This morning at Menlo Park Safeway on ECR: Still no toilet paper. They've been out for 4 weeks now. No cheese, no yogurt, no margarine. Almost no brownie mix. I went early because I was told that they restock all the shelves at night. That didn't work.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 17, 2020 at 3:35 am

Workers at distribution centers are getting sick.
Safeway's large distribution center reports 51 infected with Covid, and one dead.
Sacramento Bee report below.

Web Link

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Burning just one "old style" light bulb can cost $150 or more per year
By Sherry Listgarten | 12 comments | 2,996 views

Banning the public from PA City Hall
By Diana Diamond | 26 comments | 2,154 views

Pacifica’s first brewery closes its doors
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 1,880 views

Premiere! “I Do I Don’t: How to build a better marriage” – Here, a page/weekday
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,422 views

Holiday Fun in San Francisco- Take the Walking Tour for An Evening of Sparkle!
By Laura Stec | 7 comments | 1,411 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 30 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away almost $10 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.