HOW ATB IS RESPONDING TO COVID-19
JUNE 12th LETTER FROM DAVID WALLACE
We've had a busy month. Thanks for the support!
We are taking orders by telephone or at the door (see how to order).
Our new ATB shop online store is also working well. BBQ burgers, steaks and sausages made in-house are all very popular. For those stocking up, our frozen meat boxes are most popular.
Our Window Stop Airlock has received local and national interest by print and online newspapers, radio and television media. For an example, see The Ottawa Citizen article below.
The health guidance from the government mandates limiting the number of customers in stores at this stage of reopening businesses in Ontario. Maintaining physical distancing in such a small space as ATB is challenging. So I have decided to keep using the Window Stop Airlock for now. Customers love it and staff and customers feel safe using it. Many have voiced that we should continue using this approach under the pandemic is even better controlled. Thanks again for your support on this.
We want to safely get back to customers talking directly to us, seeing and choosing their purchases from our counters and coolers. We love those interactions and providing service and advice.
We will continue to work hard to keep everyone safe. Thanks for supporting local businesses.
David Wallace, CEO and Owner
June 12, 2020
Article by Blair Crawford
in the Ottawa Citizen,
May 8, 2020
APRIL LETTER FROM DAVID WALLACE ANNOUNCING REOPENING
You may remember that in my letter of March 22 2020, I announced we would be temporarily closing.
Thank you for being patient and all of your positive comments. After a lot of work, we are now reopening!
Finally after consultation with a medical safety expert and our in-house genius architect (my brother Josh Wallace!), we are confident that our new and innovative approach to hygiene, contact with suppliers and customer service will go a long way to helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Apart from adhering to the mandates from government and local health authorities, we are introducing a whole new way of shopping, one which safeguards you, our valued customers, our suppliers and us. These SAFETY STEPS, and there are quite a few, should increase your confidence in shopping with us.
I want to thank you all again for your support and patience. We have missed you and look forward to welcoming you back at the shop!
David Wallace, CEO and Owner
Stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus involves lots of proper hand washing with soap and water.
ATB staff are now serving customers directly from the front door of the store. We have installed an additional sink there so staff can easily wash up before and after serving each customer, and not have to go to the sink in the usual service area at the back of the shop.
Staff are also educated on how to hand wash properly. We also use disposable gloves when cutting and handling meat.
Counter-top, equipment and store hygiene has always been crucial at ATB. We have further increased the frequency of cleaning the store, including all counter-tops.
A safer "hands-free" door handle for customers
The outer shop door handle has been modified so that one can open it easily with a clothed forearm. Although the ATB version is made of metal, the design is inspired by a open-source handle developed by Materialize in Belgium for 3-D printing.
Safer ordering and pick-up
At this time, we cannot welcome customers back into the shop itself. Instead, we can now take orders and provide pick-up at the new Around the Block Window Stop we have made at the front of the shop.
Designed by Josh Wallace
This service window fits into the shop's existing front door.
This window just inside the front door of the shop is designed to help block the spread of the COVID-19 virus but still allow good communication and personalized service.
It helps protect both customers and staff.
Three ways to order are now available
We have improved our telephone system for ordering
We provide contact-less ordering at the Around the Block Window Stop at the shop door.
We have added:
New ATB online ordering for bulk frozen meats
This option is available 24/7 and allows customers reduce the number of trips out of their homes. We will expand our offerings over time.
Improvements in how to pay
During the COVID-19 pandemic, payments for telephone and online orders will be by Debit or credit card. When paying directly at the Around the Block Window Stop, we have an improved method of payment to make contact more "touch-less". Cash is still accepted.
Physical distancing outside for customers
If having to wait for an order, customers are encouraged to practice physical distancing on the sidewalk or wait in their cars.
Signage and markings on the sidewalk encourage this.
Physical distancing for farmers and suppliers
Thank you to these folks who work hard to get the products to us!
Physical distancing at the back door of the shop is also in place.
Those delivering our products do not enter the shop itself. Their goods are dropped off outside on a secure table and promptly cleaned and taken inside by ATB staff.
ATB staff have disposable gloves and are provided protective face shields. Lots of hand washing here.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO ALL THE HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS
AND OTHER WORKERS ON THE FRONT LINES
PREVIOUS LETTER OF MARCH 22 TO OUR CUSTOMERS
WE HAVE SINCE REOPENED
From David Wallace, CEO and Owner
Around the Block Butcher Shop will be temporarily closed but will reopen in the future.
I have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 (Corona) virus situation and following the guidance from government and our local health officials for the safety of everyone.
I have looked carefully at how my shop can carry on safely at this time. It is a small work area for customers, staff and suppliers. The safety of everyone is most important to me. Therefore I have decided to close for the time being. I will regroup and consider how to approach the future.
I want to personally thank all of you for your strong support before and during this crisis. The response and all the positive feedback, care and concern have been tremendous.
I also want to extend my great appreciation to the staff of ATB: Alex, Josh and Sierra, and of course Chantel who has pitched in at every opportunity. They are all great people - friendly and knowledgeable. The suppliers and farmers we work with are also excellent.
Stay safe. We will be back soon! ATB will be better and stronger than ever.
THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE, LOYALTY AND SUPPORT
We all owe our gratitude to our frontline health workers who will help take us through this.