Grocery story adds virtual shopping during pandemic

Grocery story adds virtual shopping during pandemic

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Brighter Day Natural Foods Market has been operating in Savannah for more than 40 years. The pandemic proved tough, but also showed just how essential their business is in our area.

When you walk into Brighter Day, it does not take long to figure out it’s not your typical grocery store. They feature natural, organic, and specialized products just off of Forsyth Park.

“It’s the only place, only real small place you can go just to get true organic food. The store is tiny, but it has literally everything in it and if they don’t have something they’ll get it for you,” customer Hugo Gross said.

While customers sing their praise, store leaders say the pandemic posed obstacles like how they could safely serve others. From operating in cohorts to requiring masks and more they made it work.

“At the beginning we had a surge of business and then things slowed down a little bit for us, but everything is picking back up. We immediately saw the need for an online store,” Brighter Day General Manager Aimee Schmidt said.

Unlike other large grocery chains, Brighter Day didn’t have a system in place, but they started taking email orders and have since created an online presence. What started with just ten orders has turned into close to 30 a week. Leaders say it is proven useful and will stick around.

“I think that we will. I think there’s a need for it there’s a lot of people that like to shop online now. Parking is an issue down here so I think we’ve captured some business from people that may not have necessarily come down here because of that,” Schmidt said.

While they increased their pickup options and expanded outdoor seating, the local store also saw it as their duty to help other local vendors who were impacted from restaurant closures and more. The result - supportive neighbors.

“We have seen an outpouring of support from the community, and it turn we also try to support other local businesses in Savannah and the surrounding area by carrying their products because we feel it’s important to support the people that are supporting us,” Schmidt said.

Customers say they love shopping at Brighter Day because of their community focus especially during a year that’s proven we’re all in this together.

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