BY JOHN CATSIMATIDIS
There is no reason to panic. Everything will be available.
I have been in the grocery business for 45 years. What we are experiencing today is a surprise and unprecedented.
We are in full force and here to serve you and your family. The food supply chain has been put under high stress. Since novel coronavirus cases increased, the NYC workforce was asked to stay home, and restaurants were mandated to only serve take out, it fell on grocery stores to feed the public.
As the largest independent grocery store chain in NYC, demand in our grocery stores has increased four times. At Gristedes and D’Agostino, we are adapting quickly.
After last weekend’s rush to shop and customers cleared the shelves, our stores were immediately re-stocked for opening Monday morning. Our store managers and staff are dedicated employees. Many have worked for us for over 20 years.
Our employees are working hard 24 hours a day to make sure your family has what it needs. There is plenty of food, cleaning agents, and paper products in our stores. I encourage you to remain calm.
We are blessed to be in an area where food suppliers can provide plenty of food, and the weather has been good for farm crops.
Americans are innovative, industrious and adapt to adversity quickly.
Based on my years of experience owning grocery stores, I am confident that the food supply chain infrastructure in America, and especially the five primary states who supply us, is reliable and responding to a rapidly changing situation. For example, we are arranging food supplies from sources who previously supplied to restaurants and institutions. That’s already happening.
Prior to the surge in demand, 200 large truckloads daily were unloaded at our stores. Today, it is 400. Our dedicated people are handling the off-loading and shelf stocking very well.
I’ve talked with the National Grocers Association. They told me that the supply chain is reliable and ready for the demand. They suggest that consumers shop responsibly, buy what is necessary, and be a good neighbor. Leave products for other families in your neighborhood.
Eat healthy! Eat plenty of fruits and fresh vegetables. God bless your family, and God bless America.
John Catsimatidis is CEO of Red Apple Group, Inc.