At Ray’s Food Place in Veneta and 37 other markets located in small communities throughout Oregon and northern California, customers can count on clean stores, a variety of safety features and – for students new to digital learning – excellent WiFi connections.
Clearly, this isn’t a typical time for any of us as the world deals with COVID-19. Yet, C&K Market, the company behind the grocery stores, has always had a commitment to helping their communities, said spokesman Dan Gustafson.
The company became aware that when schools closed classrooms and transitioned to digital learning, some students might not have access to WiFi. They made their signals stronger. They also reached out to school districts to let them know they would be happy to share WiFi access with students, Gustafson said.
The stores already had a public WiFi system, but students who are interested can get a dedicated password through their school or store and are given preferential access.
“We’re in local, small communities. We’ve always felt it’s important to support the communities any way we can,” Gustafson said. “We identified this as one easy way to do something that was really helpful for the kids.”
All of C&K Markets’ stores are following CDC and state safety recommendations. They have plexiglass dividers at checkout stations. Marked floors help with social distancing. All interior aisles have one-way traffic flow, so customers don’t accidentally bump into each other. Employees all wear masks, while customers are encouraged to do so. Certain hours are dedicated for seniors and those at high-risk. Feedback is positive, Gustafson said.
“We understood that it was important to our customer. They want to feel safe where they go to shop,” Gustafson said. “We’ve made every effort.”