Weavers Way has made multiple changes in shopping services to keep customers safe and food sales even during COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Sam Newhouse)

by Sam Newhouse

The Weavers Way Co-op has made multiple changes to its services during the coronavirus pandemic to protect customers and staff at its Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy  and Ambler locations while continuing to provide needed groceries and services.

Those changes include extending their Tuesday senior’s discount to all weekdays, limiting the number of customers in-store at any given time to allow for social distancing, reducing hours to allow for deep cleaning of the stores, and increasing delivery options with fees waived for members.

“The demand for our home delivery service has been overwhelming, and we’re working hard to fulfill everyone’s requests,” Weavers Way development manager Kathleen Casey told members in a March 23 email. The co-op was so backed up through the weekend with delivery orders they had to cease taking any new orders, but by Monday night were again taking new orders.

Casey asked members to limit use of delivery and curbside pick-up to members particularly at risk from COVID-19, seniors and people with underlying health issues, and that members limit themselves to one delivery or curbside pick-up per week. Others are asked to utilize the Instacart service to order from Weavers Way.

“In the weeks ahead, we will continue to work on building additional capacity into our home delivery and curbside pick up program so that we can meet the needs of as many members as possible,” Casey wrote.

Store Changes

The customer limits Weavers Way has imposed are 20 at a time in its Mt. Airy location, 25 in Chestnut Hill, 50 in Ambler, and five at its wellness and pet supply stores, Across the Way (Mt. Airy) and Next Door (Chestnut Hill). Any members going into the stores are urged to set up online payment through the co-op’s “EasyPay” system to minimize person-to-person contact in store.

All store hours have changed to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., with one hour cut from the morning and evening to allow for deep cleaning.

The stores’ self-serve pre-prepared food areas have been closed and self-service scoop bins in the bulk section have all been closed. Gravity bins including coffee beans are still available.

The 10 percent discount for co-op members who are aged 65+ has been expanded from Tuesday to all weekdays, but the co-op is still urging seniors to consider utilizing its delivery and curbside pick-up options.

In a piece published in the March issue of the Co-op’s newsletter “The Shuttle,” general manager Jon Roesser said the co-op remains ready to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19.

“Hard experience has made us experts in crisis management. Whether it’s operating a store for weeks on backup power, or recovering from our CFO’s credit card fraud, we’re not easily spooked. Smart planning coupled with agility and a knack for improvisation are hallmarks of the Co-op’s work culture,” Roesser wrote.