Things worked well enough last week that we’re going to try to have order pickups at Ben’s Bikes again this Thursday. Incase you just woke up from a month-long nap, we’ve had to make a few changes to keep everyone as safe as possible. We know that now more than ever it’s important for you to have fresh, locally grown food direct from our area farmers, and we’re here to facilitate that as best as we possibly can.
First, we will be working to gather all of your non-refrigerated items together before you get there, ready to pick up in paper grocery sacks. We’ll be working as quickly as possible, but we do need a little bit more time than usual. We’d love it if you wait until 5pm to arrive. The coolers will be full of cold and frozen things that we have to dig through, so if you all arrive right at five, not only will you have to socially distance yourselves across the parking lot, but you’ll also have to wait as we try to find everyone’s things in the coolers. We’ll be there until 8pm as usual, so feel free to come any time between five and eight.
We also want to minimize the amount of things that get handled. That’s why we’ll be pre-bagging your items instead of using your baskets or our bins. Also, please hold on to your recyclables for the foreseeable future. Even better, recycle them yourself at the various ACC locations about town.
We’d also rather not handle cash, checks, or cards in person. We understand if you really need to pay in person with paper money, but if at all possible, there are two better options for payment:
First, you can add a credit or debit card to your account, on the “Your Account” page of the website. It’s secure, powered by Stripe, and ALG never possesses your number ourselves. The downside is they charge us 3% for processing, and we have to pass that along to you.
Second, you can pay via Venmo on your phone. This is totally free to you, saving you from that 3% surcharge, and we treat it same as cash. You can find us there as @athenslocallygrown. You can pay via your phone right when you pick up your order, so you have the amount exactly right. If you want to add me as a contact first, go for it! If it asks you for my phone number as confirmation you actually know me, use 706-567-8954. Don’t try calling us, though — that’s the hotspot we use for our tablets.
Finally, we went to minimize the crowd waiting for food. To that end, please only send one person, and leave the kids in the car. We’ll be as quick as we can handing out orders, but if you want to text me to let me know you’re on the way, send me a message to 706-248-1860. Be sure to say who you are! Last week I got so many messages from people not in my contacts that my phone decided I was being spammed, and I didn’t actually see most of your messages until I got home. It turns out we did manage to pre-bag most everything so it didn’t really matter, but if you still want to text me to say you’re on the way, go for it. I added everyone from last week to my contacts, so not only will my phone know who you are, it also looks like I have lots of friends.
On our end, we’re minimizing our contact with the items, will wear gloves, and be washing our hands and using all the hand sanitizer we can have available. Speaking of which, I know that stuff is the most valuable substance on earth right now, but if you happen to have a bottle in your bunker that you can spare, could you please donate it to us? Thank you!
Like for everyone else, this is new territory for us, and we’re having to adjust on the fly. Last week saw three times the normal amount of sales for our growers, which would be logistically challenging for us in normal circumstances. Please be patient with us on Thursday if things don’t go the most smoothly, and if you see something we could be doing better, please tell us. We don’t know how long we’ll be able to do this, but we’ll keep it going as long as we possibly, and safely, can.