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:

  • Masks are mandatory for all team members and shoppers at The Sweet Potato per City of Toronto By-Law 541-2020. If you need a special accommodation beyond our shoppable website, please email us at info[at]TheSweetPotato.ca to arrange for an individualized shopping plan.
  • If it’s unsafe for you to shop in-store, we have launched an e-commerce shopping site, shop.thesweetpotato.ca, where you can find all your Sweet Potato faves. We offer the choice of contactless pick-up in our parking lot or delivery if you need us to bring the goods right to your door.
  • In-store, 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 Physical 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.
  • 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.
  • You’ll notice changes to the layout of the store, including a new entry, widened aisles, and a single checkout line. All of these changes help customers maintain physical distance.
  • Shop independently if you can. Shop efficiently if you can.
  • Monday to Friday from 8:30AM – 10AM we’re inviting our most vulnerable friends to shop first. Seniors, the immune-compromised, 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 our community fed. A friendly word, 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@thesweetpotato.ca
Staying Apart is the New Standing Together

As hard as it is, Physical Distancing remains critically important right now.  As essential retail, we’ve stayed open throughout the pandemic 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.

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 Physical Distancing protocols, eliminates the need for customers to touch fixtures, and also best supports our customers to shop most efficiently. We look forward to reintroducing our bulk taring program when it’s safe to do so.

Pausing Black Plastic Collection

Too often returned dirty and are stored on-site, we’ve determined the safest measure is to stop collecting black plastic until further notice. We urge folks to speak to local businesses about their use of non-recyclable materials to see if they’d be willing to switch to more sustainable alternatives. This has worked for us and the brands we stock on shelves!

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.