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What to know before you shop at Outpost

Learn about changes implemented at Outpost as they happened in real time. Our stores remain open to the public, though operating hours have changed along with some familiar services.

Hours: Daily 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. 

Early shopping hours for seniors and those who are at high risk

Monday through Friday early entry 8:30 a.m.

Shop Online

Use our online order form for curbside pickup or have groceries delivered to your house through Instacart. Learn more: https://www.outpost.coop/shop/#online

 

Face Coverings

Outpost has made face mask or face shield wearing mandatory for all employees, with exceptions for those where mask wearing would be medically prohibitive. The mandate is supported by the United Food & Commercial Workers Union #1473 who represents all of our store clerks.

Are you covered?
If you are shopping at Outpost, please consider wearing a face covering during your time in the store. It helps protect our employees who are on the front line every day making sure our stores are stocked and our co-op is ready for your business. Wearing face coverings also helps protect your fellow shoppers.

 

Return Policy Update

We are limiting returns for the safety of our staff and customers since we cannot trace where the products go after they leave the store. 

Until further notice, Outpost will not be taking back non-perishable product returns. However, if you were not satisfied with the quality of any fresh produce, meat, seafood or deli items, we will happily provide an exchange or in-store credit. 

 

The following Self Service Stations are CLOSED

The following self-serve stations are CLOSED at this time. Items are pre-packed for easy grab 'n go. Ask for hot soups and coffee at the café counter. We are pre-packing our Top 50 bulk department items as back-stock inventory becomes available. Pre-pack coffee is available in beans or ground. Water is available in gallon containers.

  • Salad Bar and Hot Bar
  • Bulk Department (dry goods and herbs/spices)
  • Drip Coffee
  • Soups
  • Bakery
  • Reverse Osmosis water islands
  • Bulk Coffee and grinders
  • Co-op Explorers Club - free fruit

 

Additional safety precautions are in place

  • Cafe seating area is closed
  • Leave reusable shopping bags and produce bags at home. Recyclable and compostable paper grocery bags are available, as well as paper and compostable plastic produce bags. 
  • High touch areas are deep sanitized in the morning and evening and at times throughout the day.
  • Hand sanitizer stations and disposable plastic gloves are available in the stores. Customers are also encouraged to bring along their own sanitation wipes.
  • Plexiglass sanitation screens have been installed at all customer service desks and cash registers.
  • Choose Apple Pay, credit or debit to limit exposure through money that is exchanged.
  • To help maintain safe access for as many Outpost shoppers as allowed per the order, we ask only one shopper per household to enter our stores.

 

City of Milwaukee Phase 3, Effective Thursday, May 28

Wisconsin Safer at Home Order #28 has expired. The City of Milwaukee is taking certain precautions to continue to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Phase 3 of the city's reopening plan mirrors the former Badger Bounce Back program by allowing businesses to operate at higher volumes, in alignment with testing and contract tracing. Grocery stores will be allowed to move from 25% capacity to 50% capacity.

When you arrive to shop at any Outpost store location, we will be monitoring the capacity of our stores and if we are at maximum capacity according to the order, you may have to wait in line to enter. Entry will be allowed as other customers exit. It is unlikely that our stores will reach the higher volume capacity. 

As of Friday, May 22, there have been 5,727 positive cases of coronavirus in Milwaukee County.
 




STORE UPDATES

Store Updates: Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Coronavirus UpdateIt’s the middle of May and it’s been about 8 weeks since all this began. That means it's time for us to take a moment to view where we are now and take stock in order to plan for and implement what happens next. We know that safety practices around the coronavirus pandemic will be long lasting as currently there is no cure, only prevention. As other parts of the economy begin to reopen, for some the process will be either too fast or too slow. There are lots of unknowns. Two things we do know for sure: our world has changed - and the coronavirus is still present. As the co-op continues to manage the impact of these changes, so do our owners and customers.
 
You have all been so patient and understanding as we have turned around 50 years of operating practices in pretty short order. THANK YOU! Like everyone else, we know and understand that you are tired of making concessions or changes, and that you are stressed out that life isn't normal and wish like we all do that everything would just go back to the way it used to be. But it can't. We have a ways to go before things even remotely go back to some semblance of normal. Instead, we go forward. Tapping into our owner inner strength we can handle what’s next with compassion and concern for each other and our community. We can do this together – after all, cooperation is what makes our Outpost community really great.

Mask wearing and social distancing is around for a while
Wearing a mask and maintaining social distance will likely be a necessary part of life for some time. On top of mandatory mask/face covering for all Outpost employees, the UFCW Local #1473 is also providing our employees free plastic face shields, especially helpful for Outpost employees who have struggled with face coverings or who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons. 

For some retailers, mask wearing for customers is mandatory. At Outpost, we are requesting that you do. We know that wearing a mask when you shop the co-op or doing the social distance 'dance' in the aisles is not fun. It can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. Even as the economy slowly reopens in other areas, mask wearing, social distancing and one shopper per household are practices that not going away.

Wear a face covering or let us shop for you and bring it to your car
When you are shopping at Outpost, please wear a face mask or face covering. The 30 minutes you wear your mask in the co-op shows that you care about our employees who, unlike you, are in relatively close contact with hundreds of people over the course of their work week. It protects them so they can continue to provide for you, our owners and customers as well as for their family and loved ones, in a safe and secure environment.

If you cannot abide by this request, we ask that you then consider our free online order form and curbside pickup program and let us shop for you. You fill out your shopping list, pay in advance, we'll set a pick up time and then we'll bring it to your car. Or you can have your groceries delivered to your home or business through Instacart.  

This is how we have to go forward, together. We all need to wear those masks. 

Be well!
Pam Mehnert, general manager
More information re ordering online at Outpost
 

Check out this cool local organization
#MaskUpMKE - STAY SAFER AT HOME. BUT IF YOU MUST GO OUT,  MASK UP!
"If you have to leave your home, a simple mask over your nose and mouth can save lives, prevent illness from Covid-19, and reduce the length and severity of this pandemic."

"It's not just for your own protection -  you're protecting others, especially the most vulnerable people, like the elderly and those with medical issues"


Hey, where can I find a mask to wear?
It's still pretty darn tough to find masks in the marketplace. Hardware and building supply centers? Fuggedaboutit! All is not lost. Did you know you can request a handcrafted cloth face mask made by volunteers from the Masked Sewists of SE Wisconsin? Simply put in your request via their website: https://themaskedsewists.com/

Note: There is a priority to provide masks to essential workers, so please be patient. 


Store Updates: Friday, April 24, 2020

Updates in response to COVID-19
Wisconsin Safer at Home Order #28, Effective Friday, April 24
 
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the State of Wisconsin has issued a new order limiting the number of customers in retail stores at any given time. This order applies to grocery stores, too, like Outpost. When you arrive to shop at Outpost, we will be monitoring the capacity of our stores and if we are at maximum capacity according to the order, you may have to wait in line to enter. Entry will be allowed as other customers exit. 

To help maintain safe access for as many Outpost shoppers as allowed per the order, we ask only one shopper per household to enter our stores.

While the likelihood is small that you will have to wait outside before entering an Outpost store, it is good to be prepared. 
 
Other ways to Shop the Co-op!
Let us shop for you with curbside pickup or have groceries delivered to you through Instacart.


 

Store Updates: Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Updates in response to COVID-19
Hello Outpost owners and shoppers! This week's coronavirus update contains a lot of new information on additional services now available to all of our shoppers. Please take your time to read the details. Thank you for your continued patience and support!
 
INTRODUCING: Curbside Pickup!
Outpost is excited to now offer an online grocery order form for curbside pickup at all four Outpost store locations. Many of our senior and at-risk shoppers have been reluctant to shop in the store at this time. Curbside pickup can help to relieve that stress.

The process is simple:

  • Place your order using our online order form – our store staff will shop for you.
  • In order to serve as many shoppers as possible with this new service orders are limited to 15 items or fewer.
  • When your order is ready, we will call you for payment and schedule your pickup.
  • During your pickup time, park in the designated parking spots – they’ll be marked with a sign.
  • Stay in your car and follow the instructions on the signs - we will bring your order to your car!

For COMPLETE details visit: 
https://www.outpost.coop/shop/online.php
(Scroll down to the store locations - click on the store to begin your order)


FACE MASK UPDATE - We are covered! 
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention issued a recommendation to wear a cloth face covering, especially in areas of significant community-based transactions, like going to the grocery store. The practice helps to cut down on virus transmission by people who are asymptomatic, or show no symptoms.

Outpost has made face mask wearing mandatory for all employees, with exceptions for those where mask wearing would be medically prohibitive. The mandate is supported by the United Food & Commercial Workers Union #1473 who represents all of our store clerks.

Are you covered?
If you are shopping at Outpost, please consider wearing a face covering during your time in the store. It helps protect our employees who are on the front line every day making sure our stores are stocked and our co-op is ready for your business. Wearing face coverings also helps protect your fellow shoppers. 

For more information: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html  
Instacart and tracking owner purchases
Instacart has provided a great service during the coronavirus pandemic for delivering Outpost groceries right to your door. This has been especially wonderful for folks who are at a higher risk for contracting the virus who have found shopping in the stores to be a challenge. 

OWNERS: Please do NOT share you owner number with Instacart shoppers. We understand you want to receive Owner Rewards loyalty points for your purchases, however, providing someone other than a household member your owner number opens up the co-op to potential harm in the future. The GOOD NEWS is that with Outpost's new curbside pickup (see above), you CAN use your owner number for your purchase and receive all the benefits, as the transaction is handled completely in house by an Outpost customer service representative.
 
Maintaining Physical Distance - How to shop when our clerks are stocking food
When you see a clerk stocking products in an aisle, please refrain from shopping within 6' of their work area. Consider one of the following:

If there is a product you need, please ask our clerk if you may reach for it. This allows our clerk to move away and keep a 6' distance.
Continue shopping for other items and return when the clerk has left the aisle. 

Together we can maintain our physical distance, find the delicious Outpost food we all need and love.
 
Pledge to #ShopSmart during COVID-19! 
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has established simple consumer shopping protocol that helps protect you and the folks who work at the co-op. Take the #ShopSmart pledge and show off your cool face covering. Learn how!
 
http://www.ufcw.org/coronavirus/shopsmart/


Store Updates: Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Updates in response to COVID-19
When we updated our pandemic planning back in February we knew we had to focus on prioritizing our needs as a co-op, and we knew realistically that over time those needs might come in conflict with each other. 

Our priorities:

Protecting our employees from illness and meet their needs for support
Meeting the expectations and concerns of our owners and shoppers
Provide the products and services essential to the well-being of our owners, customers and community
Help the co-op remain in operation

Outpost remains committed to each of these priorities today. 

 
Current Store Hours:  Daily 9 AM - 7 PM
Seniors/At-risk shoppers - Monday through Friday - Early Entry 8:30 a.m.
All Outpost store locations
 


Calling all Seamsters: We Need Cloth Face Masks!

Three weeks ago, Outpost ordered reusable and washable cloth face masks for our employees to wear, however, that order is still being held up in transit from the manufacturer. At this time we do not know the ETA.
 
We are making a plea to our owners and shoppers to consider sewing cloth face masks for our staff and donating them to their neighborhood Outpost. There are easy tutorials available online. We are in need of around 400 masks, enough for every employee, with an extra for those front line employees who are working regular full-time hours.

Can you help? Please turn in your hand sewn cloth face masks to any Outpost customer service desk. We will be sure they will go to our staff. 

Outpost Employee Tests Positive for COVID- 19

In the interest of transparency we want you to know that on Friday April 3, Outpost management was contacted by an employee who works as a dishwasher at our Bay View central production facility (not our retail store), to report they had tested positive for COVID-19. That individual last worked on March 21, fourteen days prior to receiving the test results, and now eighteen days from their last work day. We contacted the local health department to learn that when an individual has a positive test a Communicable Disease Nurse will contact them and do a ‘trace back’, identifying people who came in contact with them prior to showing symptoms. 

It was fortunate that our employee did not have a lot of exposure to other workers or customers, and that the person works in an environment where sanitation protocols are followed continuously.

We are happy to report this employee is recovering from the illness and employees who had worked with them are not reporting any signs of illness.
 
Store shopper capacity - What does this mean for Outpost

You may have seen the news regarding the larger supermarkets limiting the number of shoppers in their stores at any given time. A number of weeks ago we created some operational steps related to this issue should shopping at Outpost become too crowded for everyone’s safety. Our capacity is set at 70 individuals, including employees, in the retail area of our stores at any given time. We have not yet reached this capacity and will continue to monitor the situation. We reserve the right to implement these safeguards when necessary, without notice.

Support our staff by practicing good shopping protocol

Some shoppers have asked, "How can we support your employees during the coronavirus pandemic?" The BEST way to continue to support our staff and our community at this time is to abide by social distancing while shopping at Outpost, respecting the guidelines established by the CDC for 6' distance between staff and other shoppers in the store, and practice good shopping etiquette when you come to the co-op.

  • If you are experiencing symptoms of a cough with a fever, please do not come shopping - consider having groceries delivered through Instacart
  • All shopping carts now have signs on them reminding shoppers of social distancing
  • Signs throughout the store remind shoppers to "Keep Calm and Social Distance"
  • Distance lines are established for check out and at deli counters - please abide by these guidelines
  • Plexiglass sneeze guards are installed at all checkout lanes, service desk and café service counters - please abide by their use
  • Go cashless as much as possible - use debit, credit or Apple Pay
  • Consider wearing face masks while shopping the store
  • Bring your own sanitizing products if possible - Outpost continues to be challenged on sourcing sanitizing wipes and gels - ask for disposable gloves at the customer service desk
  • Limit your shopping trips to one - two per week, buy a little more, and leave a little for the next shopper
  • Limit trips to one household shopper at a time, except for those who do not have childcare or are assisting a family member who needs help shopping
  • Support our central kitchen staff by shopping our fresh departments, especially our bakery, deli and café - we have lots of delicious Co-op Made foods to choose from

Being mindful of how you move through the co-op during your shopping trip helps to keep the safety and welfare of our employees a priority. 

We thank you for you patience, trust, and continued business and for keeping our co-op strong!

#flattenthecurve #distancingequalscaring


Store Updates: Tuesday, March 31, 2020


Enhanced Protection Measures
We continue to ask our shoppers to abide by social distancing while shopping at Outpost, respecting the guideline established by the CDC for 6' distance between staff and other shoppers in the store.

We have installed plexiglass "sneeze guards" at all checkout lanes, service desks, and café service counter as an additional measure of safety for both our staff and our customers.
Temporary Change to Return Policy
Until further notice, Outpost will not be taking back non-perishable product returns. However, if you were not satisfied with the quality of any fresh produce, meat, seafood or deli items, we will happily provide an in-store credit. We are limiting returns for the safety of our staff and customers since we cannot trace where the products go after they leave the store. 
 
Employee Update
Outpost offers excellent benefits for all employees, including paid time off for illness or wellness and paid vacations. These policies continue to support our employees. We are now working with individual employees on applying for additional benefits through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. We are also extending the premium pay for hours worked by our union employees during this time, through May 2.
Together We Can Flatten the Curve
 
We welcome everyone to come and shop at Outpost. After all, grocery shopping is such a normal part of life. However, right now, we have to remember we are in the midst of a global pandemic. We have the following guidelines in place for the safety of everyone who walks into an Outpost:

Together We Can Flatten the Curve


Store Updates: Monday, March 23, 2020

We are currently working on a pre-order & pick-up system for our seniors and other shoppers who are in high-risk groups, but it’s not ready yet.

So, until the co-op is able to implement a call ahead shopping system, seniors and high-risk shoppers are welcome to shop with us early on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:30 - 9AM.


Store Updates: Friday, March 20, 2020

Outpost continues to adapt to changes happening during these unprecedented times. The following will be implemented in order to provide a consistent shopping experience for our customers, enhanced safety precautions for our staff as they work hard to stay on top of increased customer numbers, high-demand product sales and inventory management.

UPDATE: New Hours of Operation

Outpost will be CLOSED Wednesday March 25 and April 1

All Outpost store locations will close for the day to allow store staff to take the day off.

Current store hours are daily 9AM – 7PM

Effective Friday, March 20, 2020 -  In-Store Updates/Changes

  • CLOSED - Reverse osmosis water self-filling stations – Instead, we will be sourcing low cost gallons and 5-gallon jugs of water for purchase
  • CLOSED - Self-serve bulk coffee and grinders – Pre-bagged whole bean and ground coffee is available for purchase.
  • SUSPENDED – For heightened sanitation reasons, the use of reusable shopping bags and produce bags will be prohibited. Recyclable and compostable, 100% recycled content, Forest Stewardship Council certified paper shopping bags will be available for all customers.
  • SUSPENDED - Special and bulk & case orders due to inconsistent product supply. We will do our best to honor all orders received as of March 19, 2020 but cannot guarantee they will be filled.
  • NEW - Outpost’s Bulk Hub processing team will be prepacking our “Top 25” best-selling bulk items.

Employee Care

We all greatly appreciative and are sincerely impressed with the efforts of all of our workers over the past week. Outpost management and representatives from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Local 1473) are providing our workers with an additional pay premium in appreciation for the work they are doing on the front line of our business.

Additionally, we continue to support their needs by:

  • Encouraging social distancing with signs & nametags – Look for friendly employee name tags encouraging social distancing
  • Ordering washable face masks for all Outpost employees (note – due to demand it will take us a couple of weeks to receive these)
  • Prohibiting the use of all reusable grocery shopping and produce bags to help prevent further contamination at checkout.
  • Encouraging our shoppers to choose Apple Pay, credit or debit - going cashless will greatly reduce staff handling of cash
  • Continuing to offer paid time off for employee health and/or care of family members

Senior & At-Risk Shopper Care

We have had a few requests that we offer special hours for seniors or those at high-risk of contracting the virus could shop. After looking at all the data we’ve found that some experts actually caution against this because of the concentration of people in one place that are at the highest risk. Additionally, the smaller size of our stores makes it a challenge to keep a large distance between shoppers.

Instead, we are working on a call-in and pick up order system for seniors and at-risk shoppers. We hope to have a system in place by next week!

Have Groceries Delivered – Instacart

We have had a few customers that are unhappy with the order fill rate through Instacart. This is a direct result of our changing supply of products and excessive stocking up by some shoppers. Every grocery retailer is struggling with it. Instacart does offer the option to pick something similar, if your favorite brand or flavor is out of stock.

NEW “Leave at My Door” delivery option - Create an account today HERE.  
 

Wash produce with soap and water

Because COVID-19 is from a family of viruses very likely deactivated by contact with soap and water, washing your fruit and vegetables with soap and water should eliminate any live virus, says Jim Rogers, CR’s director of food safety research and testing.  What's more, rubbing fruit and vegetables under running water—and scrubbing those with hard skins—can help remove pesticides.

For hard-skinned produce, scrub skins or peels with a soft-bristled vegetable brush, using dish or hand soap and warm water. For other types of produce, including leafy greens, soak in soapy water for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

But Rogers says there's no data to show that COVID-19 is spread by consuming food. "The risk of getting the virus from your food is considered low," he says.

For more information click HERE.


Store Updates: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

EFFECTIVE WEDNESDAY, March 18

BULK DEPARTMENT CLOSURE

By order of the State of Wisconsin, our bulk self-serve department is closed. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become known. 


Store Updates: Monday, March 16, 2020

As part of our protocols for mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus, some of the more familiar co-op shopping options will be changing until further notice. To ensure proper implementation and product safety for all of our customers, we ask that you please follow all posted instructions when you shop.
 

EFFECTIVE TUESDAY, March 17

The following self-serve functions will temporarily be closed at all store locations

  • All café seating areas will be temporarily closed. In-store dining will not be available. 
  • Self-Serve Hot Bar and Salad Bar – prepacked options will be offered from our grab n’ go case to take and enjoy at home.
  • Self-Serve Bakery - Rolls, bagels, cookies and muffins will be packaged and sold from either the self-serve display case or from our bakery bins.
  • Kids looking for their free Co-op Explorers Fruit can ask for help from the Customer Service Desk.

 

EFFECTIVE WEDNESDAY, March 18

STORE HOURS CHANGING – All stores will open at 9am and close at 7pm

  • Changing up store hours will allow our staff to restock shelves, package items, conduct deep sanitation and ready the stores for business.
  • Because self-service options are also changing many staff will have additional duties in other areas, and we will try our best to not impact their weekly hours/earnings.

 
CAFÉ CHANGES – Changes are being implemented for self-serve options

The following self-serve changes will occur in our cafés:

  • Café registers will be temporarily closed until further notice.
  • Hot soup and coffee will no longer be self-serve – Our café team will be happy to serve you.
  • Kombucha taps will be closed temporarily – enjoy one of the many bottled kombucha flavors ready to go.
  • Rather than make all juices to order we will pre-make the most popular juices and stock them in our grab and go cooler, ensuring all customers can be served quickly.
  • Heat and go sandwiches, select juices and smoothies and our sliced lunchmeat program will remain full-service – ask for them from our café team.

 
BULK DEPARTMENT CHANGES – changes are being implemented for self-serve options

Bulk department and Bulk Herbs

  • All customers will be asked to wear plastic gloves for dispensing bulk department products and herbs – look for these items at the table provided.
  • After use, gloves can be disposed of in the waste can provided
  • All bring-your-own bulk containers are prohibited at this time – please only use new bags for any bulk purchases. 

We thank you for you continued business and keeping our co-op strong!


Store updates as of Friday, March 13, 2020

Outpost General Manager's message on novel coronavirus

Click HERE
 


Store updates as of Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Cancelled - March 21st Sampler 

Due to the developing Covid-19 Coronavirus situation, we are suspending our in-store sampling event on March 21st. Additionally, we are also suspending serve-yourself sampling stations in our stores at this time.

 

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