Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are both reinforcing regular proceedures and well as implementing new ones in our retail store – both to help mitigate the spread of the virus, and to help re-assure our customers that our store environment is as safe as possible.  We appreciate your help to make these changes as effective as possible.

1. IF YOUR ARE SICK, ORDER ONLINE: Sick customers (and employees) should stay home. Any employee that has symptoms of illness, of any kind or intensity, has been told to stay home. We hope our customers are doing the same; if you feel ill, please order online (www.ChefShop.com). We are happy to deliver whatever you need via UPS, and if you live in the Seattle area, you should get your order the next business day (for local orders) if everything is in stock.

2. IF YOU ARE WELL, YOU CAN ORDER ONLINE AND PICK UP IN THE STORE: To minimizing your contact with the outside world, the second option is to order online for pick-up in the store. Please select the IN STORE PICK-UP option when selecting your shipping options online.  Pick up is free (no shipping charge), and we will collect your order for you and hold it in our "vault" behind the desk; you need only stop by the store to pick it up. This also avoids the passing of credit cards or other forms of payments at the cash register (see #5 below). If you want us to bring your order to you in the parking lot, we are happy to do so. Just call us when you get here.

3. SAMPLING has been suspended: As most of you know we sample just about everything we carry as long as you don't need to cook it, so we are sad that we have suspened sampling of product in the store for now. And we now disinfect all surfaces multiple times a day. Chai sampling has been suspended for now, but we are happy to give you a sample packet if you would like to try the chai in the comfort of your home. 

4. SEMI-SELF SERVICE CHECKOUT: Please help us by placing the products on the counter such that we can scan them without touching them unnecessarily. Then, help us by bagging or boxing your order yourself.  Many customers are bringing in their own bags – which is great.  If you need a bag or box, we are happy to provide it – but we will let you place items in the container yourself for your safety.

5. PAY BY CARD (AVOID CASH) - AND ONLY TOUCH IF ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO: Handing the credit card back and forth is our most concerning touchpoint – and we rarely think about disinfecting our payment cards. We try our best not to handle your credit card, but if we have to we handle it by the edges. We prefer you pay by card – as there is no way to disinfect cash. We also take ApplePay and tap-able chipped cards. We have hand sanitizer available to our employees and we ask that they use it between handling payment cards and if they handle cash.

6. DISINFECTING PENS AND SHOPPING BASKETS: We have a system for disinfecting pens and shopping baskets.  All the pens provided have been disinfected.  All used pens go into a “used” cup – so we can disinfect them before letting the next customer use them.  Same with the shopping baskets; they are disinfected before they are returned to the store pile for use by the next customer.

7. USING HAND SANITIZER.  Like everyone else, we are having a hard time finding big bottles of hand sanitizer.  BUT, we do have a small bottle behind the desk for our employees to use after handling credit cards or cash, and each employee carries their own personal bottle at all times. I encourage everyone to use their own personal stash both before you enter, and after you leave, the store.  It's just the prudent thing to do right now. 

8. KEEPING A GOOD SOCIAL DISTANCE: For now, please forgive me if I don't give you your usual hug when you come into the store - it doesn't mean I don't love you any more! We are bring good citizens, and trying to protect both you and our other customers from inadvertantly spreading the virus. Waves and distant air hugs for now. Also, our store is rarely if ever crowded this time of year, so it is easy to keep your distance from other customers if you decide to come to the shop. Additionally, if you are in the high-risk category and would like to shop in the store, call us and we can arrange your own personal shopping time after we normally close in the evening (between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm). Just give us a call (206.286.9988) to arrange a day, and we will make sure you have the store to yourself.

I have great faith that everything is going to be OK, but I also understand the value of making small changes to help stem the tide. Please call us if you have any concerns or suggestions on what we can do differently.