Preparing for Coronavirus
Be in the know before you shop the co-op
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.
Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:30 - 9 a.m. Outpost is open for senior shoppers and those who are at high risk
NOTE: Outpost will be CLOSED the following days
Wednesday, April 1 and April 8
Sunday, April 12 (Easter Sunday)
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
- 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.
Store Updates: Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Current Store Hours - Daily 9 AM - 7 PM
Senior and at-risk shoppers - Shop Tuesdays and Thursday 8:30 - 9 a.m.
Outpost will be CLOSED Wednesday, April 1, Wednesday, April 8
Easter Sunday - April 12
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.
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:
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.
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
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.