For a family run independent garden centre like Grobe's, every year is faced with challenges. Over the last 5 years we've seen extreme weather, structural damage, wage and staffing shortage issues, personal tragedies, increased shipping issues, and more.
Covid-19 has certainly added the biggest challenge yet, and it's far reaching impact across all business sectors and personal lives is unprecedented. It seems that every day finds us new and never before seen problems.
We are using a two pronged approach to dealing with this situation at this time.
The first prong relates to the continued direction we are taking from the directives and information from the Ontario Ministry of Health as recommended by our provincial horticultural trade association, Landscape Ontario, an organization of which we are a long time and founding member. This is not to dismiss the work done by other sources, but it's reasoned tone and succinct delivery is invaluable.
To that end we continue to strive to clean and sanitize those most frequently touched surfaces on our premises. Our large location makes it relatively simple to practice 'social distancing' amongst our staff and with you, our customers. Up until March 25th, our day to day customer volumes were very low (far lower than might be found at supermarkets, bars, restaurants, sporting events or movie theaters) and well below 'group' minimum restrictions. We have had no sick individuals nor any staff that have been out of the country and returned in the last two weeks.
However as of this writing (March 24th), we will be CLOSING our Gift Shop and Store to retail customer visits until April 6th. No browsing will be permitted, however it will be possible to place orders, pay for them, and pick them up via our Take Out Menu going forward.
Our outdoor nursery stock sales yard is not yet open to the public for browsing. We don't anticipate that to occur for a few weeks yet, and nursery stock purchases/pick up will be delayed until then.
The second prong relates to the offer of our services and products to you.
We will continue to make available an essential item like 100% Cypress mulch (pet bedding) for those requiring it. For other items, we will continue to offer the same services we have always provided to those unable to do so in the past (due to distance, time constraints, or accessibility difficulties). This is not new to us.
The Contact Us email portal on this website will continue to respond promptly to any inquiry made, and our staff will be available of course as always wherever possible by phone. If an image is required to assist with a purchase, we will certainly do our best to provide one.
As mentioned above, it is possible for almost every item we offer to be carefully selected by trained staff, paid for in advance over the phone with a credit card or by Interac e-transfer, and picked up here curbside with minimal physical contact. While we can minimize physical contact, we believe that the PERSONAL CONTACT you will find with us in this manner, rather than at arms-length with a fully disassociated online website, can only help both you and ourselves weather this experience. We believe that as PERSONS - this type of contact between us is essential at this time.
We have always offered delivery services throughout Waterloo Region, Guelph and environs - and this will continue to be the case. We regret that we will not be able to extend this service into the GTA.
You have our personal assurance that the quality of whatever it is that you are wanting will be the very best we are able to provide, as it has been for over 55 years.
We thank you for your patience at this time, and look forward to assisting you further.
Perry and Peter Grobe