Aptos Natural Foods & You during quarantine
Updated: May 7
Please note: Please do not attempt to enter the store wearing a mask with a valve in it. We sell compliant masks at the store, or you can make your own (see update on 4/15 below!). Any mask that incorporates a one-way valve (typically a raised plastic cylinder about the size of a quarter on the front or side of the mask) that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling is not a Face Covering under this order and is not to be used to comply with the County of Santa Cruz Face covering order's requirements. Valves of that type permit droplet release from the mask, putting others nearby at risk. For more information, click here!
Because of recent events in the neighborhood, Aptos Natural Foods has decided upon a couple of updates to our COVID-19-related policies. Please bear with us as we try to make the best and safest shopping environment for us all! Besides implementing these new policies, we are sanitizing constantly and reminding our community about social distancing. We are selling masks (which are now required) at cost (no markup).
Look out for our May newsletter next week! :)
1. Please no more reusable bags or containers (except for alcohol-based tinctures). This is a bummer, but we have decided to be as careful as possible, and there is just not enough research yet to know how much difference this will make!
2. We now ask that you send only one shopper per household! That means one adult from the house must conduct all the shopping. This is to limit crowding in the store. Babies and toddlers must be secured in a child seat (we have three carts with seats) or held the entire time you're in the store. Older children must stay beside their adult guardian, wear a mask, and not touch anything. One child per customer is acceptable. We ask that if you have more children that you not bring them to the store. Please email Aria (email@example.com) to ask about special arrangements!
3. We are now limiting access to the store to 6 customers at a time (including children) to limit opportunities for crowding.
New Mask Policy: Effective Monday April 20
We must insist that all who enter the store (or congregate out front) must be wearing a face mask! We are taking this measure to help promote the safety of all our staff, customers and community. We are following recommendations from the CDC, Sheriff Hart, and the Aptos Chamber of Commerce. To be specific, we require that you wear an actual mask that securely fastens in back or around your ears, not a scarf! Neck gaiters (made to stay over your neck or face) are acceptable.
We are very serious about implementing this policy and we are not taking it lightly. If you have comments or questions about the policy, please mail Aria (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly. Do not engage our employees in a debate.
If you wish to purchase a mask, we are working hard to keep them in stock! We have a variety of options, including neck gaiters, which go around your head, and are acceptable.
If you are waiting outside, please stand along the south side of the entrance at 6' increments!
CHANGE TO HOURS OF OPERATION
9:00am-11:00am Seniors only (65+) please
11:00am-6:00pm General Shopping
As efforts continue to try to contain the COVID-19, Aptos Natural Foods is shortening its hours of operation to help limit opportunities for transmission. Please see above for our new hours.
Also, we would like to sincerely apologize to any miscommunications regarding our NEW POLICIES, as we all scramble to get ourselves and each other on the same page. Therefore some notes of clarification!:
On Bringing Your Own Containers:
Reusable tincture bottles (tinctures are alcohol based!)
Please do not bring:
There will be no kombucha on tap until further notice!
Please NO containers from home in the bulk area for food!
Please NO containers from home for bulk herbs
No reusable bags
No reusable containers
On Social Distancing Measures:
1. Please do your best to maintain the prescribed 6 feet of social distance when you are in the store! Thank you for your consideration!
2. We will now invite up to 6 customers into the store at one time. If the yellow chain is up, please visit the sanitation station and wait patiently while practicing social distancing until you are invited into the store.
Thank you all for your continued support, concern, suggestions, and love! As our understanding and thinking about the virus and current conditions continues to evolve, we are updating our sanitation procedures as follows:
1. We will no longer be offering a public restroom! This was not an easy decision for us, but in view of the current situation, we don't believe that we have the capacity to safely offer this option at the current time. We will update you if anything changes.
2. Sanitation Station: please make use of our Sanitation Station by the front door before entering the store. We ask all shoppers to sanitize your hands and/or wear our free gloves to help protect all our shoppers.
3. Improvements to our Bulk Department! Thanks to Kyle and Aria, we are now providing pre-bagged bulk items for sale! We will also continue to bag items for customers upon requests. Unfortunately, we must ask that you not bring your own containers at this point.
4. We have added "x" tape markers on the floor as a visual aid to assist with the 6' social distancing measures.
5. Milk Bottle Returns: to reduce handling of bottles, please return your own bottles to crates near the front of the store, where they will be picked up by milk company representatives.
6. Basket/Cart sanitation: we are continuing to sanitize handles on baskets and carts after each shopper and at intervals throughout the day.
7. Please make sure not to touch produce items you are not planning to purchase. Visit a sanitation station before shopping in the produce department.
Hi Everybody! Miss you! Especially those of you doing your due diligence and sheltering in place, except for essential needs. :) This has been a really challenging time for communities in light of COVID-19. Wow, hard to believe how much has happened since we sent out our March newsletter! We just wanted to reach out to let you know about some new procedures, new hours, and some requests. Also, per order of the health department, ask a staff person for assistance with bagging items from our bulk department, as we can no longer allow our customers to access our bulk items. It's so important to limit surface contact and possible cross-contamination. We can no longer just use the honor system assuming everyone will follow safe sanitation. Also, we want to limit the number of people touching these items. Please be understanding as we navigate this new complication in our shopping (and new task for our staff to perform). Note: compostable bags are intended to make purchases both convenient and sustainable; they are not appropriate for longterm storage. Additionally, for health and safety reasons, please, no returns at this time! We can't say this enough. Please try to understand the bigger picture. If you have a concern about a purchase you made, please contact Aria via email or phone and be patient while he resolves your issue. Please do not bring purchased items back into the store. Anything that leaves the store should stay out. Thank you for complying with this. Another change you may have noticed, is that we are now limiting essential items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer (if we can get it back in stock), elderberry products, zinc lozenges and aloe vera gel to one per person. We are doing this to make sure that there is enough for everyone. We can't thank you enough for complying with this. For this same reason, we will not be able to put items on hold for you during this time. We need to ensure that our inventory is fairly available to everyone! Thank you. We realize that there are so many changes for you and all of us to navigate already! Please realize that while many people are isolated or working from home, our brave and conscientious staff continues to come in to work and has been dealing with some interesting things. Crowds have been bigger than usual (this was particularly true before the March 17 shelter-in-place order was put in place, but still is), orders are much bigger than usual, inventory sells faster, and there is a vast range of emotional responses that we are exposed to daily. (Overheard conversation: "there are two types of people..."; must disagree -- we have seen so many more than that!) This is all in addition to changes in hours and procedures. Out of mutual consideration we ask that you also be mindful of some general guidelines: Our staff is exposed to many people daily, and that is because they are providing an essential service; we don't want them, much less other customers who may be in vulnerable groups, to be exposed to unnecessary risks. Please follow safe sanitation and distancing practices to the extent possible. Don't lick your finger or swipe your nose and then touch something you are handing to a staff person, please try to keep your cash or cards in a relatively clean container. Please do not seat your child on the counter. The counter has been sanitized with a non-chlorine bleach solution. It is sad that we have to take these measures, but situations like this should turn everyone into a germaphobe, for now. Please, DO use a cart, basket, or bag for your shopping. We sanitize handles after every usage. Some of us have been used to stacking our purchases on the counter as we shop. This can confuse cashiers in the best of times, and we simply do not have room for this practice currently! Please allow room for customers who are already checking out! On a personal note, the staff has been quite busy with the amount of questions, sales, stocking, and so forth. While it's fine to let someone know that you are waiting for assistance, please wait to ask your question until the staff person has finished helping the person in front of you. We realize that can require a lot of patience, especially in the supplements department where other customers sometimes have complex or multi-part questions, but it is a courtesy that we and our other community members all appreciate very much. :) Finally, please don't argue with our staff. Your opinion is very important to us, and context is important too -- please send your comments directly to management. You can answer this email, leave a comment on our website, call (831) 685-3334, or talk directly to Aria when you see him in the store. Thank you so much for taking care of your fellow humans even when they are physically distant from you. We all appreciate your understanding, your cooperation, and your support. Hang in there! If you are feeling lonely or have a comment or question, please feel free to reply to this email. -ANF Team
Aria & Dario say thank you!