grocery delivery toronto

Some grocery stores in Toronto suspend delivery because they can't keep up with demand

The demand for grocery delivery has been so high during this unprecedented situation that some local stores have had to stop doing deliveries.

Small family-run grocery store Fresh from the Farm is one of several stores to have posted a note to their website along the lines of "Gratitude and Changes."

"For three weeks now, we and our team have been working 14-18 hours a day, trying to keep up with the unprecedented surge in demand," the note begins. "During this time, your words of appreciation have encouraged us and sustained us. Yet, we are exhausted. We cannot physically or emotionally sustain this pace."

The note goes on to say that delivery service is suspended until further notice, though they will honour the orders for deliveries they've already received. The store is also open for pickup orders and walk-in shopping, though they'll be closed on Mondays and Wednesdays.

According to Fresh from the Farm co-founder Tim Schmucker, previous to this delivery service was more of an option for existing customers, and on average there were about ten orders a week, maybe as few as five or as many as 15.

In the throes of COVID-19, Schmucker says they've been "swamped." They had to start cutting off orders at 80 per week, expanding their delivery team and number of delivery days to catch up and deliver 120 orders this past week.

"Our community became the whole 416 area," says Schmucker. Without the storage space or time to continue, this week Fresh from the Farm decided they would suspend delivery, and they can't say for sure when they might start doing it again.

Schmucker hastens to add that as many orders as they've been struggling to deliver, they've been "overwhelmed with expressions of gratitude" in return, around 20 people emailing them with thanks every day.

Similar stores have been struggling to keep up as well. For example, The Healthy Butcher has temporarily closed their online store, posting this notice to their website:

"Due to the overwhelming surge in demand, we have temporarily
closed our online store. We are experiencing countless product
shortages from our farmers and suppliers, and to be honest,
our staff have been working around the clock and we need to regroup.

"We apologize for any inconvenience and we'll be back online as soon as possible! At this point we have a backlog of orders that we need to handle." The Healthy Butcher had already closed their physical stores.

Lead photo by

Eglinton Way

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