With two big grocery chain stores in town, Bridgewater may not be the easiest place for a smaller grocery business to compete; but Fresh Cuts Market is managing to do just that.
The store on King Street, which is co-owned by Andrew Langille and Darren Young, has a loyal following. And it's worked hard to maintain that, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
For that reason, the company was nominated under the Shine On campaign. Organized by LighthouseNOW and its owner, Advocate Media, the campaign aims to showcase businesses that have been going above and beyond to help their communities during these difficult times. Nominated business may be highlighted in Advocate's newspapers. They also have a chance at winning $3,000 worth of free advertising for when things pick up again.
Joy Davis was happy to nominate Fresh Cuts. "Although they are a small company (certainly in comparison to the big box stores) they have gone way above and beyond to support the health of their staff and clients throughout this pandemic," Davis wrote in her nomination submission.
"They installed a hand sanitizing station, set up special hours for seniors, took order over the phone and then hand delivered to the trunk of our car, respected social distancing requirements, and they even built an outdoor structure so that customers waiting in line could be out of the rain," Davis explained further.
Throughout it all, she added, the staff have continued to have cheery, helpful attitudes "that surpass the dispositions of clerks in any other store. Bravo to Fresh Cuts Market!"
According to Langille, who is the store's operator, the company was quick to order "a huge amount" of hand sanitizer in March, set up a wash station and its outdoor 26 ft. by 10 ft. metal weather structure.
"We've always been known as the friendliest store around and we wanted to provide a safe shopping environment," Langille told LighthouseNOW.
He wasn't aware of any other retailer in the town that has set up a weather structure outside its premises. "And you know, I think it's going to be a blessing this summer also with the hot sun," Langille added.
Fresh Cuts also maintains one or two door attendants on duty at all time who advise customers of the health protocols for shopping and regulate the number of people into the store to ensure social distancing and flow.
According to Langille, the company will always prioritize fast and efficient shopping. If there are more than two customers in a line, another cashier is opened up.
"Our slogan is fair, fast and friendly, and we wanted to continue that, even through COVID," Langille told LighthouseNOW. "And we're known for the friendliest staff around. We've strived to keep that all intact; we've got an awesome group here," he added.
Anyone wanting to nominate a business in the Shine On campaign can do so by connecting with the Shine On link at the top of this newspaper's website at: https://lighthousenow.ca, or by mailing a handwritten nomination with the business's name, as well as the nominator's name, email address, phone number and reason for the nomination.