WHAT WE’RE DOING

We’ve found ourselves as one of the city’s essential service businesses. While this is unexpected, we’ve done our best to rise to the responsibility and respond early, swiftly, and with transparency. We are following evidence-based best-practices as set out by Toronto Public Health and other governmental health agencies. Here are some of the measures we adopted to help safeguard our entire community:

  • We are disinfecting carts between each use.
  • In addition to our rigorous cleaning regimen, we’ve added three full-time cleaning roles to our team. During opening hours, team members are regularly cleaning and disinfecting the store, both on the floor and behind the scenes. This is over and above the deep clean that happens after the store is closed.
  • We believe Social Distancing is necessary to flatten the curve. Across the store, you’ll see reminders of what six feet of space looks like, including floor decals that mark off 6-feet of space. We’re asking all customers to follow this practise with regards to both other customers and store staff. We’re also limiting the number of customers who can shop at once.
  • To help everyone keep distance, we limit shoppers to 25 at one time. We have also changed our staffing schedules, so fewer team members share space at once. Our team also keep 6 feet of space from each other while working. At checkout where this is hardest, we’ve installed plexi barriers at the front and back of tills.
  • Shop independently if you can. Shop efficicently if you can.
  • Our staff wear face masks or face shields while working. Per City of Toronto By-Law 541-2020 all shoppers in the store should wear or face covering or mask. Disposable one-time-use masks are available by donation at the door. Reusable cloth masks are also available for sale.
  • If you can’t shop in-store right now, please email us at info{at}thesweetpotato.ca to work out an accommodation.
  • Monday to Friday from 8:30-10AM we’re inviting our most vulnerable friends to shop first. Seniors, the immune-comprimised, pregnant people, caregivers and healthcare workers have access to a quiet, clean, and stocked space. We ask customers to use their best judgement about whether this time is suitable for them.
  • We’ve added hand sanitizer stations throughout the store.
  • Regular and thorough handwashing is happening constantly for our staff.
  • We’ve closed our seating area, removed our self-serve coffee and free fruit for kids, cancelled all in-store sampling events, and prepackaged bakery items and soups.
  • If you are able, we ask that you pay by card. We will always accept cash, but for everyone’s health and safety we prefer this method if you can use it.
  • We ask that if you’ve been out of country that you abide by the self-isolation protocol. Same as if you’re not feeling well. Please refrain from shopping in store. We don’t want anyone to go hungry, email us, call us. We will work something out.
  • No staff work sick. We don’t require doctor’s notes and we’ve increased our paid sick days. We also offer flexible schedules and job security if any staff feel the need to take time off right now. We’ve added additional health benefits, including mental health supports and increases to compensation. And we’re working to ensure our team stays fed and their needs are met while they’re working.
  • Please understand that our team is working very hard right now to keep families fed. A friendly smile from a distance, your efficient shopping, and shopping alone whenever possible all helps to keep us safer.

You can learn more about the measures we’re taking here. We will continue to update this page as the situation evolves. And please reach out if you have additional questions: info(at)thesweetpotato(dot)ca

STAYING APART IS THE NEW STANDING TOGETHER

Socially Distancing is so important right now. It’s our best chance at flattening the curve. As an essential service, we’re still open because folks need to eat. We ask our customers to keep their distance, both from staff and from other customers, particularly when queuing. We are also limiting the number of shoppers we have in the store at once.

Look for our Back In Stock posts

Please check Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates on our deliveries. We want our customers to be able to shop efficiently and limit their number of trips out right now. Be sure to look for the day and time of posting to best determine what we likely have on your grocery list.

Our Bulk Department is now prepacked

We’ve made the decision to pre-pack our full bulk food offering. Doing so allows us to better respect Social Distancing protocols, eliminates the need for customers to touch the fixtures, and also will best help our customers to shop efficiently.

Pausing Black Plastic & Reusable Bottle Collection

Because many of these items are returned dirty and are stored on-site, we’ve determined the safest measure is to stop this practice until further notice. We simply don’t have good data on how long the novel coronavirus lives on every kind or surface or medium. We are also asking customers who bring their own bags to please fill them themselves. We know this will be a disappointment and inconvenience.

DEDICATED SHOPPING TIME FOR VULNERABLE FOLKS

From Mondays to Fridays we’re dedicating 8:30 AM -10 AM to our most vulnerable friends including seniors, the immunocompromised, pregnant folks, caregivers and healthcare workers. The store will have been deep cleaned and shelves and fridges stocked. We trust our customers will use their best judgement about whether they need access to this shopping time.

Supporting All Friends and Neighbours 

We have the best customers. Just this December, you helped us raise over $4000 for The Stop Community Food Centre, with our matching donation program.

Right now, Food Banks all across the city need funds to keep the huge surge of new clients fed. If you’re able, please consider a financial donation to The Stop, or your Food Bank of choice.