On March 18, 2020, Tignish Co-op implemented a pandemic plan and changed the way they do business internally and with their members and customers.
“As an essential service, we had to take major steps and follow protocols to ensure a safe environment for our customers and staff,” says Darren MacKinnon, Manager. “Our staff are putting their personal health and well-being at risk daily as they deliver goods and services.”
Several processes and protocols were implemented, including increased sanitation, revised work schedules for all divisions, installing plexi glass, and using gloves in high touch areas. “We have also made numerous changes to maximize social distancing, while ensuring we deliver essential goods and services,” says Darren.
Changes in operations
Darren says as they work under the guidelines of public health, they are fortunate to be able to keep much of the business open.
“The Co-op Sawmill and the furniture department are are not considered essential services, and are not open to the public. The furniture department remains available to provide storefront pick up for essential items that may require emergency replacement, such as a freezer, washer, dryer, fridge, or stove. The health order does not allow deliveries.”
Hours of business for Co-op, Gas bar, and Home Hardware stores
“Some staff or their family members have compromised health conditions or child care challenges,” says Darren. “Due to the effect this pandemic has had on our staff, we have reduced some of our hours of operations. Our revised schedule offers the most convenience possible under the circumstances.”
Monday thru Thursday 8:30 am-6 / Friday 8:30 am-8 pm / Saturday 8:30 am- 6 pm / Sunday noon -5 pm
Monday thru Saturday 7 am-8 pm / Sunday 8 am-8 pm
Home Hardware Stores:
Tignish, Alberton, O’Leary): Monday thru Friday 8 am-5 pm / Saturday 8 am-4 pm / Sunday (closed)
Home delivery service
“The Co-op has offered delivery to homes and businesses for years,” says Darren. “As demands have changed, so has this service. In recognition that a number of our members and customers were not able or feared to be out in public, the Co-op has expanded our home delivery service for groceries.
“We now offer delivery six days a week with expanded boundaries, and six to seven employees are now providing that service. Transportation West and their staff have generously supported our delivery requirements.
“We make up to 30 or 40 home deliveries, plus storefront pick up. This has been a herculean effort from our very dedicated staff to ensure our community and our members and customers can feed their families.”
For delivery service, call 902-882-2020 or email [email protected].
Methods of payment include credit card or email transfers.
Extra measures for seniors
“One of the hardest changes we had to implement was the strict enforcement of social distancing within our store,” says Darren. “It has been difficult to enforce a change in the daily habits of our members, but we are grateful for everyone’s compliance.”
Enhanced sanitation policies
“While the stores remain open to the public, our staff have been extra vigilant and dedicated to ensuring that cleaning and sanitizing are expanded during this time.
“We were concerned that customers bringing their own reusable bags could potentially infect our customers or our community. Our Board decided to provide free paper bags.
“Many additional hours and funds have been invested to ensure the Co-op’s facilities are properly cleaned and sanitized on a constant basis. The checkout area and high contact areas are constantly cleaned, with the help of additional staff. Our businesses are also deep cleaned and scrubbed every evening,” concludes Darren.
by Ruby Arsenault