June 12, 2020

Community Update #17

So as we enter our second week in the Yellow phase of reopening and people are returning to work and are venturing out slowly we recognize the need to change up our operations to match the shopping patterns and to work from within without the assistance of volunteers as they shift back to their daily lives.

So First.. VOLUNTEERS… THANK YOU !! WE could not have made it thru without you!

Now for the details.

Starting next week 6/15

  • Personal shopping still on TUESDAY / THURSDAY AND SATURDAY
  • Home delivery days are limited to Tuesday and Thursday only.
  • No Home Delivery on Saturdays – Curbside Only

We depended on Volunteers to make deliveries.

  • Please be patient and understanding as we work to process orders without the assistance of the 10+ volunteers. We will work to get the orders out as quickly as possible however it will take us longer without them.
    • We may need to limit the quantities of orders on any given shopping day. We will work thru this week and communicate with you next week about those plans.
  • While we still discourage reusable bags usage we ask if you do to please bag your own groceries.

To continue with personal shopping and curbside pickup we need your help!

Please consider donating time to help with:

Personal Shopping/Home Delivery on Tuesday / Thursday and Saturday
click here to sign up  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084baca928a5fc1-personal

We have 0 volunteers to assist after Saturday

We are still in this together..

Mike and your Co-op staff

May 22, 2020

Co-op Community update #15

Wow.. did not realize I could type this much !!
Just a short note as we go into the unofficial start of the summer season.

Happenings this week

  • We will be opening at 1pm on Tuesday and Thursday starting next week . Earlier if we are able to get the personal shops completed.
  • A foot powered portable hand washing sink will be installed over the weekend at the entrance to the store.
  • Additional hand sanitizing stations in high-touchpoint areas of the store such as Produce, Bulk and frozen doors now that these materials are slowly becoming available again.
  • Working with our point of sale provider to enable contactless credit card technology at checkout (Tap and Go pinpads) – will be installed on June 1st.


  • We will be closed on Memorial Day 5/25
  • The online ordering system has operating hours. The window for ordering opens at 5 pm 2 days before the shopping and closes at 12 midnight the morning of the shop.
  • The 82nd annual (virtual) meeting will occur on Tuesday June 2nd at 7pm. For additional details and to cast your important vote for the board members please visit our website at www.swathmore.coop. Everything can be found on our home page.
  • We have specific needs for help with door control on..

Monday, Wednesday, Friday,Saturday:
12:00-2:00pm & 5:00-7:00pm
Tuesday & Thursday:

Click here to volunteer for door control

Finally .. there has been rumors we have heard that folks are going elsewhere to shop because the Co-op is out of stock. Our instock position is actually stronger now than it was several weeks ago. What folks may be experiencing is the lack of variety in some areas as most manufacturers are now only focusing on core items within their brands.

Product update: Canned beans have come back in stock within the last week.
Please continue to support your local food source as tempting as it is to want and explore the your old haunts.

Happy Holiday and don’t forget we have plenty of your summer BBQ items like corn, watermelon, charcoal as well as plenty of steaks and seafood for grilling and of course ice cream!

Some great inspiration to keep things in perspective from Baz Luhrmann  ….Wear Sunscreen  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQlJ3vOp6nI

As always In Cooperation,

Mike and your staff at the Co-op

May 15, 2020

As we are now tentatively 3 weeks out from the state-mandated stay at home orders going to yellow, we are being asked how we are going to respond to the easements.

Well, for us, nothing will change except for putting enhancements to the current programs in place.

Changes we are working on this week

  • Additional hand sanitizing stations in high-touchpoint areas of the store such as Produce, Bulk and frozen doors now that these materials are slowly becoming available again.
  • Working with our point of sale provider to enable contactless credit card technology at checkout (Tap and Go pinpads) next week
  • Review of store operating hours as less people become dependent on personal shopping and home delivery. Additional information below

Speaking of store hours…

We will be closed on Memorial Day 5/25
.  A rare occasion in food retail that we can celebrate a summer holiday the entire day. Thanks to the board for making this happen!

Speaking of the board…

It’s that time of year (a little delayed). The 83rd annual (virtual) meeting will occur on Tuesday June 2nd at 7pm. In addition to the annual meeting, the board is hosting a happy hour with the new board candidates next Thursday the 21st from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. For additional details on both events and to cast your important vote for the board members please visit our website at www.swathmore.coop. Everything can be found on our home page.

Speaking of home …

We have seen a drop in the usage of our curbside and home delivery program. We still strongly encourage folks to same home and take advantage of this program for everyone’s health. The last week or so however has seen our orders go down from 140 on ordering days to under 100.  As a result of our tremendous staff and volunteers we have been able to open several hours earlier than the scheduled 3 pm openings on Tuesday and Thursday. We will be evaluating changing the opening time after next week.  This will be dependent on two things: the number of orders and the number of volunteers to help do the shopping. To take advantage of the curbside or home delivery visit our home page at www.swarthmore.coop

Speaking of volunteers…

We are still in need. Currently we only have…

  • 3 of the 8 shoppers for Tuesday 5/19  8-10am time slot signed up
  • 2 of the 8 shoppers for Thursday 5/21  8-10am time slot and 5 of the 8  for the 10-12pm signed up.
  • 4 of 8 and 5 of 8 respectively for Saturday 5/23 time slots
  • No shoppers from 5/26 and forward

We also now have sign ups thru July 2nd mainly because even as restrictions are lifted there will be limits in place for gathering sizes and people still wanting to take precautions.

To volunteer please click the links below.

One last speaking note.. With the weather getting warmer please come for your order as quickly as possible to retrieve curbside pickups. We have limited capacity to store orders under refrigeration.

So, I am finally done “Speaking” for the time. Have a great weekend and enjoy this beautiful weather, socially distanced.

Please consider donating time to help with:

Personal Shopping/Home Delivery on Tuesday / Thursday and Saturday
click here to sign up  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084baca928a5fc1-personal

Door Control

Click here to signup https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084baca928a5fc1-coop1

Co-op Cleaning Crew

Click here to signup https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084baca928a5fc1-coop

As always In Cooperation,
Mike and your staff at the Co-op

May 8, 2020

Here we sit with new directives to stay at home now until June. We here at the Co-op are busier than ever serving the community and looking into our crystal ball trying to figure out what the new normal will look like for us. Sorry – the signal on the ball only has 1 bar strength at this time.

The big thing that has become clear to us is the need to enhance our online presence. This aspect from all angles means technology improvements. Not just a better interacting website but also the integration of systems at the store behind the scenes. This includes the product cost files, the department scales and the registers. All of which do not communicate from the same unified platform. This is an expensive endeavor however we are committed to bringing things up to speed as quickly as possible. The first step, in all of this, is getting our department scales to directly communicate with our product cost files software. This process will involve getting 3 new scales and additional software for the communication to happen. We currently must manually input any price changes into each scale separately. In addition to this we must purge our data files of old items. Our data base is holding every item we have ever sold since 2011 in it, so you can imagine the task at hand.

We are also feverishly working to bring you an annual meeting virtually the first week of June. This is the once a year event which we normally hold Mid-April in which we present the state of the store and for owners to vote for new board members as well as any other important changes that may arise over the course of the year. In addition, we are finalizing plans for a first ever– Meet the new board candidates sometime in Mid- May.  Look for a separate email promoting these events shortly.

We have also added product selections menus for our Deli and Meat departments online.

 You may now also add a tip directly to your bill at checkout rather than having to separately go online and do it. Simply inform your cashier that you would like to add a tip to your total. This tip will be 100% given back to staff once we can come together and celebrate.

Finally, I a few responses to questions I have been asked lately.

Can we return the paper bags? At this time, we are not accepting bags back as we do not want to run the risk of contamination and storing them in quarantine on site is not feasible. They are however 100 % recyclable or could be used make a pinata for the social distanced backyard birthdays ,kindling for your fire pit, start covering books just for practice for the return of school in the fall or your favorite new painting canvases since you can’t find any online.

What does door control involve? Now that the weather is becoming nicer it means getting an early start on your tan by standing outside and helping to monitor and educate shoppers about our best practices for shopping safely for all.  (or is it? It is May with possible snow showers tomorrow)

Are you seeing any shortage in meat supplies? The short answer is no. We are fully stocked. That is one of the great things about working with local producers. Unfortunately, this virus can strike anywhere at anytime so let’s keep working on keeping everyone safe.

Attached is a link to a short video shot yesterday by one of your volunteers, Scott Laughlin, to remind everyone of the inside of your Co-op and to show we are still stocked for your business.

Please consider donating time to help with:

Personal Shopping/Home Delivery on Tuesday / Thursday and Saturday

click here to sign up  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084baca928a5fc1-personal

Door Control

Click here to signup https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084baca928a5fc1-coop1

Co-op Cleaning Crew

Click here to signuphttps://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084baca928a5fc1-coop

As always In Cooperation,

Mike and your staff at the Co-op

April 24, 2020

As we enter the 8th week of this pandemic—We saw the buying surge start the week of March 9th

A Call and Plea for additional volunteers

We had the original calling for volunteers to sign up thru the end of April.

Well April is almost over and we are now in need of volunteers to help us continue to provide vital services to our fellow community members through the end of May and maybe longer. We are dependent upon volunteers to help us make these following events regularly occur.

Please consider donating time to help with:

Personal Shopping/Home Delivery on Tuesday / Thursday and Saturday

click here to sign up  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084baca928a5fc1-personal

  • We are pushing out over 150 orders every Tuesday/Thursday and Saturday. 

Door Control
Click here to signup https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084baca928a5fc1-coop1

Co-op Cleaning Crew

Click here to signup https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084baca928a5fc1-coop

Bright news:

  • We have secured a reliable source for toilet paper, paper towels and most importantly yeast.
  • Over 50 households have become owners of this community owned business since March 9th.
    • That exceeds the cumulative total for 2019.
  • With the shops happening tomorrow we will have exceeded 2,100 orders since we started curbside and home delivery services on March 21st.
  • An inspirational quote from Winston Churchill

“If you’re going thru hell… keep going!”
So let’s keep going and get thru this together, collectively and cooperatively!

As always In Cooperation,
Mike and your staff at the Co-op

April 18, 2020

A tribute to all Sci-Fi friends…

Captain’s  Log

Star date –Week 6 of the Covid-19 reality

It just seems appropriate as it feels we are travelling in space at light speed here at the store and we jump into warp drive on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to make home delivery /curbside pickup happen.

So here we are once again. Community update #11.

Thank you to anyone taking the moment to read the babblings of the mirrored image of Bill Murray’s character in Ground Hog Day. 

  • To anyone who has donated masks of all styles and varieties. The staff truly appreciates them! We have a total staff of 45 hardworking folks so additional donations will be graciously accepted.
  • Per the request of many shoppers, we have now established a virtual tip jar on our website for those of you who feel inclined to give back to the staff in a contactless way. We appreciate all the offerings of buying lunch and other treats however we too are working on maintaining social distance and keeping everyone healthy to continue to serve the community. The tip jar can be found at swarthmore.coop/donate/ This is not a solicitation or a direct request. We simply have had multiple requests to give something extra to the staff for everything they are doing.
  • Seniors.. We will be opening at 9 am on Wednesday for folks 60 or older or immune compromised who have the strongest desire to shop for themselves. Although we strongly encourage you to stay home and take advantage of the personal shopping service.
  • There are now product selection menus available to look at on the home delivery page for our cheese, specialty groceries and desserts as well as Sushi.  These are complete listings however not all products are available. As always, our shoppers will do the best to fulfill your requests. We are trying to find ways to bring you the store in other virtual ways as we stock over 11,000 items here in this little store.
  • We have added an additional layer of protection to staff and volunteers. We are now temporal thermal checking temperatures of everyone working in the store. Anyone over 100.0F will be sent home and told to notify their doctor and self-quarantine until cleared.
  • Facemasks are required for anyone entering the store per the latest guidance from the CDC and PA Department of Health.
  • We will continue to adjust our opening times on Delivery/ Curbside pickup days. The staff and volunteers have been doing an amazing fulfilling the orders. We have completed over 1600 orders since we started 4 weeks ago.
  • We also new batch of potted spring flower herbs and vegetables.
  • In working to support other local businesses. Mark’s Barber shop has disinfectant concentrate for sale. His contact info is below. Mention the Co-op for a discount.

[email protected]
225 S Chester Rd Suite 7
Swarthmore, PA 19081

As always in Cooperation,

Mike and your staff at the Co-op

April 10, 2020

As we enter into our 2nd month of the COVID-19 virus and its associated issues, we are still in need of volunteers to help us maintain services here at the Co-op in the fight against this virus.. It is through everyone’s efforts that we have been able to keep a clean, safe store as well as provide personal shopping to help reduce the spread.

Please consider signing up for one of the volunteer opportunities below. Also feel free to share this request on your social media postings.

Personal shopping signup link 


Door Control signup link


Co-op Cleaning Crew signup link


In cooperation,

Mike Litka

April 8, 2020

As we are now in our fifth week of the COVID-19 epidemic sweeping across the US and the rest of the world I want to say again –THANK YOU to everyone especially the staff here at the Co-op. They continue to show such resilience through all the changes and requests to adapt on the fly. It is an amazing feat to watch every day.

As the community has also adapted to new norms and restrictions and try to make everyday life happen under these new terms and conditions we have seen new patterns quickly establish with people and shopping at the Co-op. These new, never anticipated expectations have quickly made us realize that we will need to shift our operations to continue to serve everyone in the best way we knowingly can at this point. As I have stated before we will continually monitor how things progress and may need to make changes accordingly. The time has come for more changes mainly due to the truly overwhelming response and need for personal shopping and home delivery that has arisen from the call by local, state and federal authorities to remain at home as much as possible and to limit even now going to the market.

Effective next week

  • We will be Closed this Sunday 4/11 for Easter. To allow staff time to enjoy a few hours of comfort with whomever they are sheltering in place with currently.

New Store Hours

  • Sunday 10am -6pm (except this Sunday—Closed for Easter 4/11)
  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10am -7pm
  • TUESDAY and THURSDAY  3pm – 7pm. Limited hours to allow for personal shopping / delivery and curbside pickup to occur. We are seeing close to 200 orders and are simply being overloaded to fulfill the orders even with volunteers (It took us from 7:30-2:30 to complete Tuesday orders).
  • Saturday 12pm-7pm—This time may also change based on the volume of home delivery for the day in the upcoming weeks.

We ask again…

  • No personal reusable bags
  • Utilize our hand washing and sanitizing stations set up outside of the store
  • Facemasks to be worn while in the store

Online ordering system clarification

  • Please limit your order to just one per delivery days. Some people are putting 2,3 even 4 orders in for the same day and our system does not have a way to correlate them together.
  • Minimize the add-ons to the orders when your shopper contacts you about discrepancies, as our shoppers are under a lot of pressure already working to fulfill the original orders.
  • Your order is immediately available for curbside pickup once a cashier call for your credit card information. Please help us expediate the orders by coming over immediately to retrieve the order. Close to 95% of the orders are now curbside and we have limited storage capacity to store the orders.
  • Finally please be understanding. We acknowledge that the process is stressful on everyone and that it is not a perfect system, considering we implemented only 4 weeks ago with no clear direction. The staff and the volunteers are working tirelessly to gather as much of the order as possible with the constraints that are still upon us based on product availability.

Several bright spots..

  • We have several new sweet treats available in our dessert case. Take a look on online to see them. The mini key lime is my favorite.
  • Our floral vendor has pulled thru and has gotten us a limited supply of Easter Flowers. Now available while supplies last.
  • Don’t forget to order sushi with your order!  John is still making it fresh everyday and we are working to get his complete menu online shortly.

Thanks again,

Mike and your staff.

April 1, 2020

As we enter another month of stay at home orders to help curb the spread of Covid-19, we as your community food source need to adjust our business model to meet the swelling demand for personal shopping and to provide better social distancing  measures.

As we have now done 2 ½ weeks of online ordering. We are seeing the demand swell beyond our normal operating hours to accomplish these shops in a safe manner while the store is open. We have gone from having 40 orders on the first day of deliveries to adding a third day, Saturdays. We were hoping to catch a break on the quantity of Tuesday orders by adding the Saturday option. <<< We were wrong >>>. With the personal shop orders jumping exponentially, Saturday (3/28) there were over 110 orders and yesterday we had over 170 orders, we need to adjust for everyone involved.

STORE HOURS: Effective immediately

  • Sunday 10am to 6 pm
  • Monday — Wednesday – Friday 10 am to 7 pm
  • Tuesday – Thursday — Saturday 12pm to 7 pm (being adjusted to accommodate the personal shopping)


  • To allow proper social distancing for staff there will only be 2 cashiers available while the store is open.
  • When ordering online please request curbside pickup—if feasible. Our volunteers and staff are being stretched to capacity with the amount of orders being processed. We do understand there are individuals that do require home delivery and will continue to honor them.
  • Respect the tape—6ft distancing reminders on the floor
  • Please leave your personal bags at home.
  • Encouraging debit/credit transactions instead of cash.
    • When opening or adding to a house account -please consider writing a check to more easily process rather than over the phone. ( Sorry.. only owners can open an account)
  • There is now a hand washing station at the entrance of the store in addition to the hand sanitizing station.

As the confirmed cases of the virus continue to grow, we have prepared for the worst case:

If there is a positive confirmed case within the staff.

  • The store will be closed for 14 days to allow the entire staff to self-quarantine as we are all working at times closer than the 6ft rule allow.
  • We have contracted to a 3rd party cleaning company to come in to clean and sanitize the entire store.

We appreciate everyone’s understanding and efforts being made cooperatively to get us thru these times together. Also know we will continually evaluate and adjust our operations to meet the needs of the community.

Many Thanks,

Mike and the Co-op Staff

March 30, 2020

Due to an overwhelming request for home delivery and the need to process an enormous amount of incoming product we will be opening tomorrow at 12 pm.  Tuesday 3/31/2020.

To keep things in perspective and the reasoning..

  • Prior to Covid-19 restrictions we were serving about 600 customers daily with an average basket size of about $17-18.  
  • Post Coivd-19 stay at home orders we are now serving about 300 customers daily with an average basket size of $40+.
  • We anticipate being over 150 + personal shop/home deliveries alone tomorrow.
  • In addition to the shopping, we are expecting product deliveries to be well over 500-600 cases incoming in the morning. 

We simply need the time to get it all done for everyone.

Sorry for the inconvenience which may arise from this change of scheduling for Tuesday 3/31/2020.

Please share this information within your social networks and with your neighbors.

Mike and the Co-op Staff

March 23, 2020

I want to begin first by acknowledging the staff and the volunteers here at the Co-op. These individuals have willingly put themselves on the front line of serving the needs of community in these uncertain times and have done so with a selfless passion and are the daily reminder and example of living with purpose and of service to others. I am and will be forever thankful for everything they are doing. 

As we enter the 3rd week of making adjustments to the ever-changing environment of creating “new norms” surrounding our daily living with COVID-19, I wanted to provide some updates and make some requests. 

Your Co-op team has been working continually on ideas and solutions to improve the social distancing and reduction of high touch points of interaction while still be opening to the public.  

  • Monday– we installed plexiglass barriers at the registers, deli, meat and seafood counters to limit the direct contact between staff and customers that is closer than the 6ft distancing rule. 
  • Encouraging owners to open house accounts with us. It is a simple, easy process which allows you to create a pre-paid account from which we will deduct funds when you make purchases. Thereby eliminating the need for cash or credit/debit card pin pad touch or interactions. Simply call customer service or speak to a cashier to set one up. 
  • Encouraging limiting cash transactions when possible. 
  • Requesting that our cashiers sign any debit /credit receipts on customer’s behalf to avoid contact with pens. The receipts are signed in front of the customers before leaving.  
  • Requesting that personal, reusable bags be left at home moving forward. As most of us do not wash and sanitize these bags on a regular basis. 
  • Returns will not be accepted. We will continue to offer refunds for quality concern issues. 
  • In the process of prepacking our bulk foods into small and large containers to reduce high touch points areas in this area. 
  • Requesting that customers limit the use of the restrooms while shopping. We understand that mother nature calls but hoping you could schedule the call before coming to the store. 
  • Use our home delivery / curbside pickup option available on our website
  • We have added a Saturday delivery /pickup option thanks to the many volunteers willing to help with this program. To help with shopping and delivery– sign up below

Things on the Horizon: 

As we see a stronger surge in home deliveries, we may need to modify our store hours on those delivery days to allow the staff and volunteers the opportunity to complete these orders. Just yesterday we pushed out about 100 orders which equated to just under $10,000 in just 4 hours. We would normally do about $11-12K on a typical Tuesday being open from 8am to 8pm. We will communicate if this need arises. 

We also ask that you continue to share our story and your experiences on your social media. We are seeing more shoppers outside of Swarthmore asking for home delivery from this. We are also seeing a small increase in people signing up to be new owners.  This is happening because of your active ownership participation. 

As you have just read, your team at the Co-op is working hard and proactively to protect the health of everybody. We are also looking at how to modify and adjust our work patterns and habits in this highly personal and interactive industry. 

Finally, I want to reassure everyone that food suppliers have product coming in and are working hard to get the products out to the stores. We are starting to see fuller in stock availability occurring in the food chain. It is simply going to take a little bit of time for the supply chain to catch up and adjust from our eating out habits to our current staying home and cooking. You can thank all our local vendors and producers for keeping us in stock for some of the basic daily essentials like milk, eggs, bread even pasta and pasta sauce. We are proud of our working partnership with over 150+ local food producers and vendors. 

Thank you again for your continued shopping support and having your trust as we work thru these unprecedented and challenging times. 

Mike and the Co-op Staff

March 23, 2020

We have added another layer of protection against COVID-19. All checkout lanes, the deli counter and the meat/ seafood counter now have creatively designed barriers to keep with social distancing.

March 20, 2020

As we roll into the 2nd week of closures of schools and businesses, we find ourselves in the food business deemed essential personal in this global pandemic. Know that your staff at the Co-op will continue to be here to serve you in the best ways we know possible and provide the best service we can in these times. Also understand that we are working hard to find alternative sources for the products in which we are seeing out of stock status or shortages from our current vendors.

We are also raising our precautionary steps to help in the containment of COVID-19.  We understand that these steps are not 100% effective in regard to this matter however we deemed it worthy to help the cause.

  • Starting today, the staff will be wearing protective masks to help with reduction of our microbial matter when engaging with shoppers. We may all look like bank robbers from the Wild West days, but we are working to do our part together.
  • We have also increased our ask, through the week, for volunteers on 4 fronts-Door Control to help limit the capacity to 50 people, Cleaning crew to help with sanitizing, personal shopping/home delivery for those needing it and for restocking the shelves. For additional details and to sign up please visit our website. https://swarthmore.coop/

Since we are a community supported store where everyone is a neighbor of someone shopping, we are asking folks to help do their part for everyone. Although we cannot require the following, we are asking for the sake of everyone in the surrounding communities.

  • Before coming to the store to create some type of mask. Some protection is better than no protection. A basic mask can be created out of any material with a dimension of 22×22 inches, folded into a triangle then tied around the back of your neck.  
  • There is a now a hand sanitizing station at the door for folks to sanitize hands for 10 seconds before entering.
  • Social distancing is 6ft. We have taped the store with blue and green markings as a friendly reminder for everyone to keep separation as best as possible when shopping.
  • Asking shoppers to limit the number of folks coming in as a group to just one individual to help maintain social distancing and to expedite the shop for others.

Understand we will continue to modify our attempts to assist in reducing the curve of the spread of this virus and work through various agencies and sources to attempt to mitigate the growth of COVID-19.

As always in cooperation,

Mike and your staff at the Co-op

March 17, 2020

We are so proud of the extra effort, commitment, and adaptability of all of our Co-op staff members (and our volunteers, too) that are keeping our store open and working well for our community.  As events unfold, we’re making adjustments to continue accomplishing everything we can for our owners and shoppers.   Please make note of the following as you plan your Co-op visits:

  • IMPORTANT: Temporary Changes to Our Hours to Better Serve our Customers
    • Effective Wednesday, March 18, our operating hours will be adjusted to: Monday through Saturday — 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday — 10 a.m. to 6 pm.
    • These changes will help ensure that our employees have needed time in the mornings and evenings to safely stock and properly sanitize the store. 
  • Temporary Suspension of Self-Serve Hot Coffee and Hot Soup Bar – In order to maximize safety for our shoppers, we will be temporarily eliminating both our self-serve hot coffee station, and our popular self- serve soup bar at the front of the store. No worries!  We will continue to have an unrivaled selection of coffee drinks and ground coffees in the store, and we will offer the Co-op soups that you enjoy in pre-packaged take-home containers at the rear of the store.
  • Re-Routed Customer Check-Out Queue at the Front of the Store – In order to better handle the extra heavy customer traffic in the store, and to allow customers to better distance themselves from others in the check-out line, we’ve re-routed the queue to the front of the store.  Look for the blue tape on the floor and the signs to help direct you. 
  • Help Support Your Favorite Retailers with the Purchase of Gift Cards at the Co-op – This is a wonderful way to support your favorite retailers and their employees during these very tough times of closures.  We have a great selection of retailers represented in our gift card carousel at the front of the store.  In addition, Co-op store gift cards are always available! 

Volunteers Update:    We’ve had a terrifically welcome response from the community in supplying volunteers to help with increased store needs and tasks.  We have an additional need for volunteers to give us an hour sometime during the day to help us sanitize and wipe frequent touch points in the store.  If you can help us with this important task, please go to the “Volunteer” section of the Co-op website, and complete the volunteer task form.  

Just a reminder — This is a great time to consider becoming an owner at the Co-op, if you don’t already enjoy the benefits of ownership.  Our website makes it easy!   

A very grateful thanks to all of our shoppers and volunteers for truly making the Co-op a community project during these interesting times!   Keep shopping, and be safe and healthy.

March 16, 2020

As we start our day this morning there have been major developments from the CDC and from Governor Tom Wolf in regard to the limit of people gathered at any one location in regard to the COVID-19 outbreak.

To keep with the updated mandates and to be proactive for the communities’ health we have taken several steps to help with the importance of social distancing awareness and the flow of customers into the store.

At this point.

  • All outdoor seating has been removed.
  • The movement in and out of the store has been restricted to the side doors on Lincoln Ave.
    • We have created a card system at the entrance which allows us to control the number of people in the store at any one time to no more than 50 people, which also includes staff.
    • Instructions are posted at the door about the system
    • Simple details about the card system…
      • Take a yellow card with you as you enter the store
      • If there are no yellow cards outside that means we are currently at our capacity of 50 people
      • The cards will be replenished as customers leave the store.
  • We have instituted an online order process for pick up and home delivery.
    • Here is the link   https://swarthmore.coop/departments/home-delivery/
  • Your leadership team is meeting later today to discuss next step protocols for the store in the event we need to further reduce access to the store.
  • We ask folks to continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and to take advantage of the pickup/home delivery if feeling sick.

As hard as this is to limit access to a community hub center, understand we are making these decisions in the best interest of everyone based on the guidelines being recommended by local, state and federal authorities and in preparedness for the new norms for the next 2 months.

We will continue to keep everyone posted on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mike and your Co-op Team

March 15, 2020

Below is our strategy to accommodate the desire and need by our community for personal shopping – home delivery and our request for assistance in restocking the shelves with the arrival of COVID-19 to our area and the mandates being put in place by Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf in regards to limiting social gatherings.

Volunteering to help

We have 2 needs

Restocking the shelves..

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday anytime after 9 am.
  • We have an immediate need for tomorrow (3/16)

Personal Shopping & Home Delivery

  • Tuesday and Thursday to start the program this week however would like to expand the delivery options based on the volunteering.

To sign up

We ask you go to our webpage…..https://swarthmore.coop/volunteer/. Please completely fill out the form so we can organize and coordinate days and times moving forward.

How personal shopping  and home delivery will work:

  • To start — we will only be delivering on Tuesday and Thursday until we can coordinate the volunteers to expand on the days. 
  • ALL Orders must be placed online at https://swarthmore.coop/departments/home-delivery/
    • No phone orders will be accepted. We are not equipped to handle any heavy volumes of calls.
    • There is also a $30 minimum order.
    • Delivery radius is 5 miles from the CO-OP.
  • Orders will be selected in the order they are received. You can order anytime.
  • A member of the staff/volunteer will then shop the order.
  • The shopper will contact you to discuss the order and any out of stocks or substitutions that we can offer. The order will then be adjusted and brought to the register to ring out your purchase.
  • At the end of the transactions we will contact you with the total and ask that you have your credit card ready to give your information to the cashier. Sorry no cash or checks will be accepted to avoid contact.
  • Your order will then be stored accordingly and will be delivered as soon as a volunteer or staff member becomes available or you can come by and pick it up yourself.
  • We will contact you one last time to inform you that your order is out for delivery and that the delivery person will knock and leave the groceries by your door. You must be home at the time of the delivery.
  • Due to the national emergency surrounding COVID-19 we are offering this service at no cost to everyone who may need it.

As this is a quickly generated emergency contingency plan formed by the leadership team at the Co-op with input from many facets of the community there may be some initial gaps in executions which we will work to quickly correct and rectify. Please be understanding through this process as we have never anticipated such extreme conditions.  

Again, we are here to support the surrounding communities and everyone’s need for food.

Mike and the Co-op Team

March 14, 2020

As many of you have seen and experienced, the last two days have brought unprecedented times to the food industry and this community. In my 30+ years in food retail, I can only compare the current influx of food demand to a crazy combination of Thanksgiving, a blizzard, and a hurricane, all within a 48-hour period.  As of today, Delaware County, Governor Wolf has extended strong COVID -19 mitigations efforts to Delaware County, and while you can depend on the Co-op continuing to be open and active as a grocery store retailer, we want to provide you with a few updates this afternoon.

  • We’re Open and (mostly) Stocked –We are open for business and still have stock–although inventory is getting tight.   We have milk and produce arriving today and our Meat and Seafood are fully stocked.
  • Upcoming Deliveries May be Light  —  Notices are coming in from our distributors that our incoming orders for product will be reduced from our actual orders being placed. This is being done for two simple reasons. They want to evenly attempt to spread product through all stores they service, and they are struggling with the workforce power to meet the demands of fulfilling orders in their warehouses.
  • New Precautionary Measures at the Co-op — As of today, 3/14/20, we have taken the precautionary step of eliminating the seating area in the front of the store to assist in the requests to limit gathering spaces and to create social distancing.
  • Upcoming New Capacity for Home Deliveries for Our Customers Who Need It — We are also in the process of finalizing the logistics of having a systematic approach for personal shopping and home delivery for those that are feeling the need to stay home. In this process, we may call upon our owners and shoppers who have asked to help our fellow community members in need by assisting us with potential replenishment and door drop deliveries in the coming days.  We are planning to communicate our plans on Sunday the 15th.

As your store, we are working as effectively as we can to continue to provide you the critical need for groceries. We ask in the coming days to help us by understanding that these new circumstances have strained our US food supply chain, and are overwhelming the system. But we are all in this together on many fronts. 

Finally, we remind folks to please continue to support the Co-op. We are a quick and easy destination for everyone without the burden and fears that may arise from going to bigger box food retailers. Your team here continues to adhere to best practices and looks forward to serving your needs. 

Mike and Your Co-op Team

The health and safety of our Co-op community is our highest priority. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the country, your Co-op is taking action to help protect its shoppers and our staff. 

Our team is closely monitoring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials in our area. The team will rely on their recommendations and expertise to inform our decisions.

We are taking steps to reinforce the need to maintain healthy behaviors that minimize the ability to catch or spread any virus. The actions below are the current procedures in place to assist.  

  • Advising all our staff to wash their hands frequently and diligently as a means to prevent the spread of any bacteria or germs.
  • Placing hand sanitizer and non abrasive, disinfecting cleaning wipes throughout  the store, while current supplies last, to regularly sanitize their hands, workspaces and for commonly touched areas. In addition we have hand sanitizer in the entryway of the store and additional hand sanitizing stations near the customer bathrooms.
  • Asking our staff to self-report to HR and self-quarantine if they or a member of their household has visited a location in the past 30 days that the CDC considers severely impacted and/or has a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.
  • We also provide paid sick leave that help ensure our staff can stay home to take care of illness without forfeiting needed income. In addition, we will work with employees to accommodate those who may develop a need to self-quarantine.  These actions help ensure that Co-op staff stay healthy, productive, and focused on our shoppers.

As circumstances continue to develop, we will make our decisions with the health and well-being of our owners, customers, employees, and the community as a top priority.

We are grateful and appreciative for the strength and togetherness of this community.

Please continue to look for further communications from us on this matter.

Mike and your staff at the Co-op.

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