Downtown, Campbell’s Adjusts Daily During Extraordinary Time for Grocers

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Gary Caldwell for ELi

In addition to its regular store hours, Campbell’s Market Basket staff will fill phone orders and deliver the groceries to your car or to your home.

Area residents in need of groceries but who may be worried about going into stores or who want to support small businesses can consider the downtown store Campbell’s Market Basket.

At the small neighborhood-style store, which opened just about a year ago, the staff will now shop for you using special measures in light of the coronavirus.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the market is no longer offering self-serve shopping and staff are required to wear gloves.

Ken Campbell, the store’s owner, explains that customers can also order their groceries over the phone. His staff will then collect the order and deliver it to your car or to your home. Payment is taken in person or over the phone.

Campbell’s continues to stock fresh fruits and vegetables, pasta and rice, fresh bread, condiments, a variety of cheeses, and much more.

Campbell said in a phone call with ELi that these changes have been implemented “for the safety and sanitation for employees and customers.”

East Lansing resident Linda Pivarnik is a frequent customer who says she appreciates the store’s “healthy and well prepared food.” From her point of view, these changes should be of no surprise.

“From my experience, now versus coronavirus, Campbell’s has always been a place that has great health precautions in place,” Pivarnik said in an email to ELi.

Healthy precautions are also being taken at chain stores, like Meijer and Whole Foods, which have put in place designated hours for high-risk groups to shop and suspended self-serve areas. But these stores are in some cases having a harder time staying consistently stocked.

According to Campbell, his market is having success staying stocked due to its smaller size.

“Fortunately, we are a small market and can keep on top of it and provide the same products that we always have,” Campbell said.

Those products include fresh fruits and vegetables, pasta and rice, fresh bread, condiments, salamis and a wide variety of cheeses, and a lot more.

Campbell acknowledged that business has gotten harder for him.

“Business has definitely slowed down because MSU is out of school” and that has “a drastic impact on our customer count,” Campbell said.

Campbell added that because of this, their target customer base is changing.

“We’re really depending on the year-round community,” Campbell said. “They’ll be the ones to keep our doors open.”

Campbell said these changes are “indefinite, [with] no plans on changing it up,” and that they’re “customizing our way of business until people ask us to do something different.”

Word of mouth has been critical

According to Campbell, his customers have helped in spreading this news.

“We found that people are talking to each other and helping us to get the word out,” Campbell told ELi. “That’s what’s made a difference and helped us to keep our doors open.”

Campbell sees his job as serving the people still here.

“Our main point of focus is to spread the word to the community,” Campbell said. “They want to see us succeed during this time and we want to be there for them.”

According to Pivarnik, there’s a reason long-time East Lansing residents like to shop there.

“This market is a jewel in our community,” Pivarnik said. “Everything is fresh, staff is so friendly.”

Campbell’s Market Basket is currently open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on the weekends.. For more information and to view their product selection, visit their website here or call the store at 517-977-1068.

The market is located at 547 E. Grand River Ave., and drivers can park in the Bailey surface lot for free, right behind the market (just off Bailey Street near Grand River Ave.)

ELi has a special section dedicated to our reporting on COVID-19 for East Lansing. See it here and sign up for ELi’s mailer to stay informed

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