How to Grocery Shop While Sheltering in Place
Adjusted hours, social distancing enforcements, and special hours for seniors and immuno-compromised at most local stores.
With Marin schools now closed through May 1 and Marin’s COVID-19 infection rate ticking up, staying safe while you shop is more important than ever. Grocery stores have responded, adjusting hours and enforcing social distancing in a bid to stay open and keep customers safe. Here is what you need to know now.
As before, some items and supplies go out of stock quickly and most grocery services are currently understaffed to handle the pressing demands of newly house-bound customers.
This list is by no means complete and changes are occurring faster than we can keep up with them. Please contact the business directly via their websites or social pages to ensure they meet your needs and please send us updates to us if you have them (please share news, especially about your favorite local store, if it is not already included here).
This video demonstrates how to clean your groceries after you bring them home.
How to Buy Groceries During a Shelter In Place Order:
Direct from Farmers
Many ranchers and farmers sell direct, meaning no need to go out. The Marin Agricultural Land Trust compiled a list of shelter-in-place food suppliers here. Please keep in mind that delays in shipping are the new normal.
According to Andy Naja-Riese, CEO of the Agricultural Institute of Marin which runs the Thursday and Sunday markets in San Rafael (8 a.m. – 1 p.m.) among its seven Bay Area markets, “an open-air source of food is considered ‘lower-risk’ compared to a confined grocery store, and people circulate throughout the day at the market. Time outdoors can help boost the immune system, and vitamin D has been shown to help the body fight colds and flu. Plus, food that has traveled a shorter distance with fewer hands touching or processing it is a safer alternative to imported products or those from industrial agriculture.
A health and safety protocol is in place for all AIM markets that includes sanitizing equipment and frequently touched areas. Hand washing stations and hand sanitizers available. All food must be purchased “to go” and shoppers must maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet).
Please visit the AIM website for the most current updates.
Marin Community Farmer’s Markets runs the open-air markets in Corte Madera Town Center (Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.), and in the CVS parking lot in Mill Valley (Fridays, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.).
Other local shops:
Open. No self-service at food bar and deliveries arriving on a regular schedule.
Sun Valley, San Rafael 7 am – 8 pm
Loch Lomond, San Rafael 6:30 am – 8 pm
Corte Madera 7 am – 8 pm
We are taking extreme care, from sanitizing to social distancing, offering curb-side pick up, and limiting the number of shoppers.
Beginning March 25, we will reserve the 9-10 am shopping hour for our senior and immuno-compromised customers. We are prioritizing health and safety over every other function of our store.
Note our new store hours: 9 a.m to 8 p.m.
Current store hours in Mill Valley and Fairfax are 10 am – 9 pm. Self-serve items are currently not available.
When shopping at Good Earth, please do the following:
– Maintain a social distance of 6 ft as much as practically possible
– Please help us limit the number of people in the store by shopping alone when you can
– Please save your shopping until after 10:00 am if you are not over 60, immunocompromised, or pregnant. We are reserving the hour of 9-10 am for our most vulnerable communities
We are limiting the number of customers shopping our stores to 40 at one time. Beginning March 24, we will have staff actively working our doors to support this, and you may be asked to wait in line if there are already 40 shoppers in the store.
Kitchen open for takeout or order directly from the deli, 8 am –6 pm. Please call to order; curbside pickup available.
Wednesday sushi takeout menu available, Wednesdays only starting at 4 pm.
Effective Sunday 3/22 the Deli & Meat Dept. will close at 6:00 pm, the Store will close at 7:00 pm.
In regard to senior shopping, 7:00am-8:00am is typically very quiet for seniors to shop.
If you would like to email/call in an order, we can have it ready for you to pick up. Email email@example.com.
Mon – Sat: 7:00 am – 7:30 pm
Sunday: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Delivery provided via Instacart. And, during this shelter in place order, the Canepas are accepting orders via email as well. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number, and a detailed list of what you would like, then specify delivery or pick-up. According to co-owner David Canepa, the plan is to process orders same-day. Hand-washing station out front and social distancing enforced in-store.
In conjunction with InstaCart, delivery provided in normal times within a 2-hour window but currently experiencing significant delays. Expect to wait a week or more for delivery. A 14-day trial period is available before a monthly service fee kicks in. Though there is a fee for orders of less than $35, no upfront payment required.
Open food/open food bar areas are now all in pre-packs.
Special shopping hours for those 60+ and immunocompromised: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 7-8 a.m.
Coffee bar hours are now 7 am – 4 pm.
Regular store hours are now 8 am – 8 pm.
Corte Madera and Novato 7 am – 9 pm.
Tuesday and Thursday mornings from store opening to 8 a.m. are temporarily designated as shopping hours specifically for our guests ages 65+ and those guests who are at-risk due to health conditions.
Please be mindful of those in need and reserve this time for our senior citizens and other at-risk members of our community.
Hours are currently unchanged: Sunday – Thursday 8 am – 8 pm, Friday and Saturday 8 am – 9 pm. If you need assistance due to self-quarantine please call us & we will do our best to help.
Daily 6 am – 10 pm; 6-7 am for immunocompromised and 60+ only. Home deliveries experiencing significant delays.
Open 7 am – 9 pm
San Rafael and Larkspur store hours 9 am – 7 pm until further notice. Staff posted at door to help wipe cart handles and squirt sanitizer if you do not bring gloves. Separate line for seniors.
Sanitizing wipes at store entrances. Self-serve salad bar converted to pre-packed salad bar. Hot bar moved behind the glass deli counter.
Extended home delivery and grocery pick-up service at United to Go.
Special senior (60+) and immunocompromised community shopping hours daily from 7:30-8:30 am.
Store hours for all in San Rafael and San Anselmo 8:30 am – 9 pm.
Mon – Sat: 8:00 am – 8 pm
Sunday: 8:00 am – 8 pm
Delivery provided within a 2-hour window and is available to Prime members.
Only immuno-compromised and customers 60+ from 8–9 am. Staff person at the door to squirt your hands with sanitizer and wipe down cart handles, enforce social distancing, and manage any line.
From Friday, March 27, the first open hour of the day, 7–8 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays is dedicated to immunocompromised and 65+ customers. Close daily at 9 pm.
Headquartered in San Francisco, this delivery-only service brings the local farms to you with local produce, eggs, meat, milk and many other products. Like other retailers, Good Eggs has strict sanitation protocols and has taken additional steps to keep everything clean in response to COVID-19. Their app is experiencing loading issues so please use the website to order. Delivery windows may be sold out but not items. If an item appears to be sold out, please select a different delivery window to try again.
Other essential businesses, including Target (Marin City 7–8 am; San Rafael 8–9 am) and Costco (8–9 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays), are providing separate time windows for seniors, often first thing in the morning. Please contact the business in question to confirm their most current hours.
Christina Mueller is a long-time Bay Area food writer. She hails from the East Coast and has spent way too much time in South America and Europe. She discovered her talent as a wordsmith in college and her love of all things epicurean in grad school. She has written for Condé Nast Contract Publishing, Sunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her child’s school, and supports the Marin Audubon Society, PEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.