When we first launched our new online store last October, it was just for the convenience of being able to buy T-shirts, gift baskets and local groceries. But when NC went into lockdown, we moved quickly to add as many groceries as possible online– meat, eggs, produce, groceries and even online ordering and delivery of dinner from our kitchen, and we’re always adding more online options. If you need contactless delivery, let us know when you call or order through our website. In-store pickup is always free, and we offer grocery and dinner delivery up to 7 miles away from the store, so you don’t have to leave your house at all to get your essentials.
For the amazing people who work at the General Store– the people who cook your food, stock the shelves, run the register and keep the store running– they don’t always have the option of staying home, and dealing with the public on a daily basis puts them at a higher risk of possible infection. So we have been doing everything we can to keep everyone safe. We provide plenty of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the form of gloves, hand sanitizer, face masks to all of our employees, we’ve installed plexiglass shields at both registers, and we’ve offered “hazard pay” to our staff as well as paid sick leave if they or people they live with suspect they might be sick with Covid-19 symptoms. We also have been implementing advanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures on all surfaces, glass, doors, door handles and bathrooms.
With every online order, we offer easy gratuity, and this money goes directly to General Store employees who pick, stock, bag and deliver. Please consider using this in place of our in-person cash tip jar when you get groceries or prepared food.
It’s not just the people who work here who need to stay safe, it’s everyone who lives, works or visits Saxapahaw. As one of the main hubs of activity in the village, it is our responsibility to do our best to keep our visitors and our community healthy.
We’re trying to limit the number of people in the store at one time. If you’re coming to Saxapahaw in a group of 3 or 4 or more, please only send one representative from your group into the store at a time. And please follow the signs and arrows in and outside the store to prevent clustering and clogging of traffic. We offer free gloves and hand sanitizer for all in-store customers, and we strongly encourage face masks and gloves for all customers.
Please also observe the flow-of-traffic signs and floor markings inside and outside to keep safe distance from staff and customers. We are not allowed to have customers eat food on the premises, and we must ask everyone to observe safe social distancing practices within the store as well as the patio and sidewalk outside of the store. We can’t assume that “it can’t happen here”, because it can, and it has in rural communities across the country.
With so many health restrictions in place, and with no real idea when life can return to normal, the Saxapahaw General Store has been doing everything we can to help support other local businesses and local farmers who operate on a razor-thin margin on any normal year, and now find themselves struggling to survive.
We have increased our orders of food from local food producers, and every week we offer Farm Fresh Boxes full of meat, eggs, produce and other food items from local farmers, so you can get healthy locally made food as cheaply as possible. All we add is a $5 processing fee for each Farm Fresh Box– 100% of the profits from the local food items themselves go directly to the farmers without any added overhead cost.
This is a tough year for all businesses large and small, and Saxapahaw relies heavily on spring and summer traffic to stay solvent for the rest of the year. This year, with the canceling of events at the Haw River Ballroom, with the lack of this year’s Saturdays in Saxapahaw, the General Store is stands to lose out on tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue that we require to operate year-round. We’re lucky to exist in such a supportive community, but without the day trips, community get-togethers and local events, the Saxapahaw General Store is still a small family-owned business that doesn’t have the enormous resources to survive long term economic downturn. Even if things start to relax in the next month or two, according to most experts, America may not return to “normal” until summer or fall of 2021.
If you would like to support the continued existence of the Saxapahaw General Store through these times, and make it possible for us to continue to provide new services in quickly-changing times, please consider donating to our ongoing GoFundMe campaign. Even a small donation can help to ensure that we’re here to provide for our community now and well into the future.