In a nutshell:

  • Want to receive this newsletter via email each week? Sign up here.
  • We are open for pre-orders/pickups only this week.
  • We are open seven days a week while these conditions continue.
  • Order onlinevia text (717-979-7574) or via email.
  • No list below, because you can see it all in the online store.

Good morning! I write to you earlier than normal because WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS at our online store, via email, and via text.

We will NOT be open for business in the regular way, though.

As you may know, last week we launched an online ordering system for pickups and deliveries, in the hopes of facilitating social distancing. It didn’t work out so well.

We were inundated with orders — dozens just by the time we woke up on Thursday morning, with more rolling in by the minute. We’d offered a two hour lead time, and by the start of the first pickup window at noon on Thursday, we had something like 30 folks all scheduled to come for the same slot. And in the meantime, business inside the market continued as normal — or, really, at twice its normal Thursday pace. Thursdays are usually relatively quiet at the market. We rely on that time to receive deliveries, get prep work done, and generally get situated for the week. We weren’t able to do that last Thursday, and it meant that we weren’t proud of the service we were able to offer in response to the online orders or in person.

We also noticed that traffic was so dense and so steady that you’d never be able to tell that we were trying to increase social distancing.

And then, at the end of the day, just as we were starting to be able to catch our breath, we realized that the inventory syncing between our register and the online catalog, well, it wasn’t syncing, and the website was still selling things we were already out of. Eek!

There’s no time during the market week to troubleshoot, so we just had to take the site down while we filled the remaining orders and figured out what to do next.

After intense thinking and talking on Friday and Saturday, we came to the conclusion that there is no way we can operate an online service and keep up with the (dramatically increased) in-person demand while maintaining social distancing. Given the volume of orders we received and the volume of people coming through the stand on Thursday in particular, we also found ourselves uncomfortable with our ability to maintain a safe environment at the stand.

Our top priority, always, is getting the most (best) food to the most people. In normal times, this means being open all the hours the market will allow us to be. At this topsyturvy time, we find ourselves worrying not just about your safety and health, but about what happens if we get sick. If one of our staff shows symptoms or tests positive, it would almost certainly mean that all of us would have to go into quarantine, and the business would have to suspend operations entirely for at least two weeks. That would put a major damper on our ability to get food to you!

And so, for your safety and for ours, and to preserve our ability to continue to operate for as long as possible/forever, we’ve made the difficult decision to close the figurative doors to Radish & Rye until we feel like we can responsibly open them again. Our virtual doors, though, are wide open.

We’ve spent the last few days reworking the website, adding some additional tools for robustness, and have launched it as of Wednesday morning. We’ve also spent a lot of time developing strategies and systems we believe will help us keep up with demand. Additional info here, but here’s most of what you need to know:

  • We prefer online orders, but if you have trouble with the website or aren’t comfortable ordering online, we will also accept orders by email, text (717-979-7574), and (least preferred) phone. If you place an order through one of these methods, we’ll get back to you to confirm as soon as possible. You’ll have a choice between paying over the phone or at the time of pickup.
  • We will be open SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. We hope that this will help spread out demand, and we hope it’ll mitigate the inconvenience of not being able to shop in person.
  • We are not offering delivery at this time. Once we have a week or two under our belts and feel confident that we’re able to keep up, we hope to be able to offer this again. In the meantime, you might consider placing an order and then arranging for bike delivery.
  • Pickup windows are from 12pm-6pm every day. We require a six hour lead time right now, so if you place an order at 10am, you can pick it up as early as 4pm. We hope to shorten this lead time once we get our feet under us. When you arrive pull up along the courtyard and call us at 717-979-7574 and we’ll bring your order out. If you have bottle returns, we’ll ask you to deliver them to a crate outside our door.
  • Until or unless we can figure out a backend integration between our ecommerce site and the software powering the rewards program, the Food Hub Club rewards program is temporarily suspended.
  • We think we’re in pretty good shape this time around, but please bear with us as we work out the inevitable snags!

One last thing to know for this week — everything we know we’ll have over the next few days is up on the website, but if we haven’t actually received it yet, it’s not available for order. See something you want but it says sold out? Check back this evening or tomorrow afternoon to see if it’s back in stock (we’re also working on a way you can sign up to get notified when an item is in stock, but that’s Phase 2!). Feel free to place multiple orders for pickup at the same time (or at different times!).

Lastly….well, I don’t have words for the last thing I want to communicate. I guess, just, I miss you already, and I look forward to being able to meet face to face again. In the meantime, I hope you’ll continue to share your cooking and eating adventures with us via social media. Thanks for being part of our community, whether it’s physical or virtual. We love you!

Julia