Hi there! First things first: WE ARE MOVING! Starting this week, pickups are moving from Ben’s Bikes to the Athens YMCA, located at 915 Hawthorne Ave. We love Ben’s, and as soon as the medical emergency has passed we’ll be moving back. But for now we needed someplace with more room, better vehicle access, and better protection from the elements. The YMCA offers all that, and we’re so thankful they’re allowing us to use their facilities while they remain closed.
This means we can now offer you curbside contactless delivery! As you pull in through the entrance loop up to the front of the building, we’ll get your name, ask you to pull forward, and then bring all your items out to you. You can pop your trunk or unlock your back or passenger door, and we’ll load your car up for you.
If you arrive by bike or on foot, or just want to park in the lot and get out of your car, we’ll have a place for you to walk up.
I’ve got a plan in my head for how all this will work, and it should be a lot better for everyone compared to how we’ve been managing, but bear in mind this’ll be our first time and we’ll need to fine tune it as we go. On top of that, the forecast is calling for a steady and sometimes hard rain all through the day. We’ll have challenges, but considering that I don’t think we could have operated in the rain at all at Ben’s, I think we’ll be in good shape.
Live plants were the biggest challenge, and given the rain I had to make the hard choice to temporarily remove most of them from the availability list this week. I just couldn’t think of any way to manage getting you those in a clean way in the rain. Some of the growers can put them in paper bags and such so we can hold them inside, but the rest I’ve taken down. Hopefully after a week at the Y under our belt, we’ll have a way to handle them rain or shine and all the growers can bring their plants back.
Some things will remain the same:
- We’ve still got three pickup windows, and I’ve converted your account’s previous choice to the same slot at the Y
- We’re not accepting in-person payments unless absolutely necessary. We’ll have a drop box for checks or labelled envelopes of cash, but we greatly prefer Venmo payments to @athenslocallygrown or online payments through a card tied to your account. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
- We can not accept any recycling
- We cannot take your own bags or bins out of your car and fill them up
If you’d like to go through your items before you leave to make sure you’ve got everything, or that we didn’t mix up people’s items (sorry to the two of you we mixed up last week!), feel free to pull into the lot and have a look.
I’ll send out the usual reminder email Thursday morning reminding you of the location change, and we’ll have a sign at Ben’s in case force of habit takes you there. We look forward to seeing you at the Y on Thursday evening!