In times of crisis, it’s great when local businesses work hard to try to keep the community’s best interest first.
One such business is the Minford IGA. They, just like every other grocery, have seen the empty shelves and no way to stock them, but they keep on working on getting their shelves stocked for the community.
The Portsmouth Daily Times spoke with several of their employees about the store and how things were going with the COVID 19 crisis. One of the cashiers, Ashley said, “we’re taking precautions, we’re wiping and sterilizing everything, and keeping gloves on.” When asked about the shoppers and how they were, she said they were pretty good.
Tammy Lawson, the produce manager who has worked in Minford for a year, shared the struggle for both the store and the customers when products aren’t available.
“It was hard because we couldn’t give our customers what they wanted,” Lawson said. “It was worth everything we had to go through to get it here for our customers. Everything we have heard about customers; we’ve not seen here. We’ve had great customers, nobody has complained, nobody’s been mean, they’ve been understanding, there’s a great bunch of people out here.”
Lawson continued, “We have done everything in our power not to raise prices, if they’ve raised them and charged more, we haven’t. Our customers have been beyond great and we are trying to keep everything clean too. When our shelves were down, we were cleaning them to get ready.”
Back at the Deli, there was plenty of hot prepared chicken and wedges and the cheese and meat supplies appeared to be fully stocked.
“We have back up a bit in our hot deli items, because not as many people are coming in hopefully, they will stay home and only come out when they need to,” Deli Manager, Faren Spencer said. “We still have had cake orders and orders for food. The daily workers still come in and get meals, they don’t come as much as we normally have, but they do come. I think the most stressful thing is with the trucks coming in, the orders get pushed back a few days and we have to rearrange schedules to accommodate, it hasn’t been too bad, we’re hoping it will just get back to normal.”
As for the community, Spencer stated, “The people have been good, we haven’t had anybody come here and shove or anything, they may get more than they usually do, but it’s not horrible like some places we’ve heard about. They come in calmly and ask if we’ve got what they want, and we’ll check and see if we’ve had it or not.”
Jordan said, “The people have been good, no fights, nothing. They’ve been working with us even when the trucks have been a hit and miss, and sometimes we don’t get what we’re supposed to.” As for her workers, she said,” They haven’t said too much, no complaining. I’ve got a great set of girls.”
Laura Smith Boldman, Office Manager, is the daughter of the owner, Cindy Smith. She was upfront in the office with Vickie Smith, an employee that has worked at this store for 16 years and praised the kindness of the community.
“You never know how people are going to act with you being out of stuff. They’ve been understanding. They’ve been thanking us for busting ourselves to try to keep up.” As for her workers, B0ldman said. “It’s been stressful, but now my cashiers are getting scared and dropping off. I’ve got an interview tomorrow and he had his hours cut at his job and has worked here before.”
Boldman and Vickie Smith both added that people have been very understanding and not rude at all. Boldman said, “They are thanking us for everything we are doing. We are doing what we can. We even had a guy that called and ordered and asked us to take it out to his car and he, in return, brought us some face masks. We open at 8 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. just short of an hour on normal days. We try to do older people for that first hour. Every morning when we come in, we try to sanitize everything and get it ready.” They have a sign posted as you walk-in that states they are trying to sanitize the carts very often during the day, but that they also have sanitizing wipes customers can use.
The Minford IGA said they are doing everything they can to help their community fill their needs. During this unusual time, stores are dealing with empty shelves and things not being normal. Still, with the fairly stocked shelves and friendly, unselfish people who work there, Minford IGA is doing their part to make their customers happy and satisfied as best they can while they are shopping there.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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