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Shopping Etiquette & Social Distancing

How being courteous and understanding helps everyone! 

Avoid long waits, crowds, and lack of products, Pre-Order ahead of time!


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(Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Let’s be honest, March was a tough month! There was a huge learning curve for businesses, families, and individuals -- simply, it required us to rethink everyday actions. It’s like that childish game of “The Floor is Lava” except instead of just the floor, it’s every surface! Hopefully, now every time we leave the house we’re keeping in mind “stay 6 feet apart, don’t gather, sanitize those hands often and DON’T TOUCH THE FACE.”.   As we begin to head into April, we find ourselves settling into this “new life” of quarantine and social distancing. Maybe you’ve got a new routine, or you’re accepting that much-needed downtime, or you’re watching way too much Netflix ... no shame -- we’re all guilty.   But this month has new challenges, essential small businesses -- specifically, natural grocery stores and farmers markets -- are trying to stay open so people can continue to have access to nutrient-dense local foods. Like Da-Le Ranch, the local vendors are working very hard to sanitize, follow California COVID-19 guidelines and fulfill the publics’ increasing demand for more food!   Unfortunately, some shoppers have been quick to anger, discourteous to social distancing, and have simply not been following the rules. This lack of care has frustratingly led to local small businesses and markets being shut down!  So, if you love farmer’s markets and delicious local foods we ask you to follow some of these simple “shopping etiquette” tips. We hope you’ll follow them so De-La Ranch can stay open and continue serving the public. The month of April will be an opportunity for all citizens to practice some (possibly) newfound patience, manners, and courtesy as shoppers -- and we hope that you’ll try your best!  Shopping Etiquette ●    Point and Ask, Don’t Touch: ​We get it. Feeling if the fruit is ripe or palpating countless avocados is part of the Farmers Market experience. However, this action spreads viruses very easily! We ask that you simply point and ask an attendant for help instead of touching. ●    Markets Aren’t a Place to Gather: ​Although it’s fun to see your favorite vendors and chat with some friends, currently, the markets are still open because they provide an essential service. Basically, try to keep your trip to get your groceries and avoid grouping together. ●    Be understanding of other customers: ​Maybe you’re in a rush, but this doesn’t give priority over other customers (pre-ordering helps). Your “one quick item” is ​not​ more important than anyone else’s. Please wait for your turn and don’t talk over or interrupt another customer. Instead, keep a respectful distance, and we’ll give you our fullest attention when it’s your turn. ●    Be Understanding of Da-Le Ranch Vendors: ​After a farmers market is done, Da-Le Ranch vendors have already been awake since 5 am, have been standing on their feet for over 9 hours without a break and still have more to do when they get back! To assist us, we kindly ask that you respect our hours of operation, PLEASE don’t show up 30 min early or late. The opening and closing hours are critical to our operations, please respect this. ●    Utilize Pre-Ordering: ​If you’re in a rush or aren’t much of an early bird, preorder your items 24 hours (minimum). This not only ensures that we’ll have the items you want but also helps Da-Le Ranch operate more efficiently. Thank you! ●    Service Animals, The Most Sensitive Subject: ​Da-Le Ranch loves your adorable furry friends (if they’re hairless, don’t worry, we’ll love them too!) unfortunately, they don’t belong at a farmers market ... especially with COVID-19 guidelines. More to the point, some owners allow their animals to do some pretty gross and unsanitary things, thus, rules need to be made. If you have a ​trained certified service animal​, then, of course, you’re exempt from this.  Masks begin to proliferate as San Diegans adopt new coronavirus measures

The face of the coronavirus in San Diego has evolved: It's now wearing a mask. Less than 48 hours after San Diego County strongly encouraged the general public to wear face coverings when venturing outdoors, an increasing number of residents from one end of county to the other could be seen donning a variety of masks Saturday.

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Most of these “Shopping Ettequete” rules are applicable even without COVID-19, as they say, “there is an island of opportunity, in the middle of every difficulty”. In other words, our opportunity in this quarantine is to live our lives with a little more self-awareness and understanding of those around us -- namely, businesses and fellow shoppers.   We ​urge​ you to be mindful so we can all continue to enjoy small businesses and markets that remain open. Remember, we’re all in this together, so let’s try to be well-behaved.  Article Written For DA-LE RANCH by: Bryce Hallam

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