Since Local Foods opened its retail store in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood almost five years ago, it has been an important outlet enabling Midwestern small to medium-sized farms and producers to reach health-and-wellness consumers with delicious and nutritious food. And now, with business as usual upended by the COVID-19 crisis, Local Foods is the first broad-based grocer in Chicago to go the extra mile to protect customers by adopted a “no contact” policy.

Closing the store aisles to the public, Local Foods is providing home delivery through Mercato and curbside pickup at the store, located at 1427 West Willow (near the intersection of North and Elston avenues). Orders can be placed online (at the Mercato and Local Foods sites), by email at marketorders@localfoods.com or by phone (312-432-6575).

Local Foods is a brand of Grow Forward, a Naturally Chicago sponsor, and is a longtime friend of FamilyFarmed, the parent company of Naturally Chicago. Their press release is published below.

 

Local Foods is 1st in Market to Transition its Retail Operation to a No Contact Store in Response to COVID-19

Out of concern for customers, staff and supply chain, the 5,000 square-foot grocery store has moved to a pre-order model with curbside pick-up and delivery.

CHICAGO (March 26, 2020) – Chicago Local Foods, a purveyor of Midwestern products, rolled out a new shopping experience for Chicago consumers looking for a healthy and safe solution to purchasing groceries amidst the outbreak of COVID-19. On Monday, March 23, Local Foods closed its market to in-store customers, and has been exclusively fulfilling pre-orders since then with all orders available for curbside pick-up or delivery.

The move was motivated by an internal decision to prioritize health and safety, and has required the Local Foods leadership team to adapt to a completely new model of commerce and order fulfillment for its customers. The goal of ensuring that they can safely supply the Chicago food community with a healthy flow of real, nutritious, locally sourced products that they are proud to carry and support — while also valuing the health and safety of employees — has created new daily challenges for the small retailer.

“We work every day with a remarkable team of folks who live right here in our neighborhoods, supplying real and healthy foods to our community, and supporting a hard-working group of local farmers, ranchers and individual makers,” said Jim Carbine, CEO for Local Foods. “The health, safety and security of all these groups — our team and their families, our customers, and our distinct supply chain — are our primary focus and priority as we work to make operating decisions in these uniquely challenging times,” Carbine said.

Carbine added, “But to meet the demands of the new ‘normal’ we find ourselves in, this team has mobilized and exceeded my expectations to create, staff and deliver on not only health and safety goals, but to continue to deliver on the customer experience our retail store is known for.”

Local Foods is filling orders seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Customers can order across four platforms including: Mercato, the Local Foods website, emailing orders to marketorders@localfoods.com, and phone-in orders. Delivery options are available to customers ordering through Mercato, an online grocery marketplace that connects customers with local merchants.

ABOUT LOCAL FOODS: Local Foods is a distributor and retailer of local food. Local Foods’ vibrant public market showcases the best of the Midwest, including the sustainable whole-animal meat mecca Butcher & Larder, and Local Foods Café, Chicago’s most local, farm-to-table cafe. Behind the scenes, Local Foods operates a wholesale distribution center dedicated to supplying the best local products to more than 400 of the city’s most acclaimed chefs, grocers, caterers and schools. Local Foods is a mission-oriented organization, partnering with the area’s finest small-scale family farms with the aim to revive and strengthen the Midwest’s local food system and infrastructure.