Shelves at big grocery stores are empty, but local businesses may have what you need

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Posted at 10:27 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 22:42:32-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Empty shelves and piled up shopping carts is the scene at most grocery stores these days.

“With what’s going on the big box stores are a little crazy right now, a little hectic,” says Verena Weinstein.

But that’s not the case at Westside Produce and Provisions. The community grocery store is located right off of Colley Avenue in Norfolk.

“I do sometimes think people forget the small local businesses,” says James Holley, who owns the family business.

With the current coronavirus pandemic that’s sending people in and out of grocery stores, Holley says don’t forget your next door neighbors.

“There was a study done that if every household would spend $10 a week supporting local businesses, it generates millions of dollars or revenue for the local economy,” he adds.

Some hot items that are available at his shop are his fresh vegetables - from tomatoes to potatoes - that are picked from local farms.

“Most of our farms are within 60 miles that we deal with our fresh produce,” says Holley.

He says this pandemic has brought in new customers who can’t find what they are looking for - like milk and eggs - at the big box shops.

“Special orders on baked goods 'cause a lot of stores are running out of bread as well.”

Customers here say it’s also a great place to practice social distancing while you shop.

“It’s such a great option if you want to minimize your interaction with people,” says Weinstein.

The Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center advises businesses who are feeling the impacts of COVID-19 to consider different ways to deliver services. The owners at Westside say they are on it.

“We are going to start parking lot orders. If you call or email, we will take them out to the parking lot.”

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