By Douglas W. Motley
The forward-thinking management team at Goodwin’s and Sons Market in Crestline last week took extraordinary measures to prevent the further spread of the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus. While other major chain stores, including Walmart, Kroger and Albertson’s, announced last week that they would be installing plexiglass “sneeze guard” shields at their checkout stands in the next two to three weeks, Goodwin’s is one the first markets in the area to install the plexiglass barriers at each of its checkout stands.
The physical barriers were installed late in the day last Friday, March 27, in order to keep customers and store employees safe during the Coronavirus outbreak. In addition to the plexiglass shields, Goodwin’s is no longer bagging groceries in bags customers provide due to the possibility of the used bags being infected by the Coronavirus. Instead, they are requiring customers to use the store’s own plastic bags at no extra cost to the customer.
“We’ve implemented a temporary policy during this time and are asking customers not to bring reusable bags. In order to keep our areas and surfaces sanitized, we must bag all groceries with our plastic bags for the time being,” said Goodwin’s Vice President and General Manager Mike Johnstone.
In mid-March, Goodwin’s, like many other supermarkets in California, began opening its doors from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. exclusively for seniors 65 and older, pregnant women, people with disabilities and those with immune deficiency disorders. “We’re trying to be proactive as much as possible to protect our employees and customers,” Johnstone stated.
Asked whether Goodwin’s would be adding markers on the floor leading to the checkout stands to encourage shoppers to keep a safe distance from one another, as other retailers have begun doing, Johnstone responded, “Decals are coming soon.”
On Monday, March 30, early morning shopper Jackie told The Alpine Mountaineer she appreciates all the proactive measures taken by Goodwin’s to protect both the customers and employees, such as the plexiglass barriers at the checkout stands, protective masks worn by many of the workers and the sanitizing of grocery shelves and counters. “They even sanitized our shopping cart after we entered the store.” Nodding in agreement, Jackie’s husband added, “They’re definitely ahead of the game.”
When asked to comment on her shopping experience at Goodwin’s, another shopper said, “They were out of a few things, but overall, the people were friendly.” Johnstone added, “The supply chain still hasn’t picked up. Most shipments are short on some staples, like canned goods and toilet paper, but people are pretty understanding.”
Crestline Chamber of Commerce member and volunteer Rhea-Frances Tetley encourages mountain residents to support local businesses. “Supporting local businesses that are still open will ensure they are able to stay open to serve all of us once this pandemic is over.”
Editor’s note: Jensen’s Finest Foods in Blue Jay has also installed the plexiglass shields at the checkout stands, as seen on a visit to the store on Sunday, March 29.