A wholesale grocer in Vernon is selling goods to the public in response to the coronavirus crisis.
Nature’s Produce, which normally sells produce and dairy to restaurants and other businesses, began offering curbside service by appointment on March 20.
Members of the public can call in an order in advance, and a few hours later, the groceries will be available for pick up outside the company’s warehouse, located at 3305 Bandini Blvd., every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The company also offers dry and canned goods, paper goods and cleaning solutions.
Blake Polisky, executive vice president of the company, told KTLA on Monday that he was getting frustrated when he saw how the wholesale food business started tapering down as an effect of the coronavirus.
He saw how many products he had in his warehouse, while getting phone calls from concerned family members and friends who were not able to get essentials at grocery stores.
He said he started advertising on his Instagram page that he had plenty of items and soon he had about 50 orders over three days.
“There’s people that are in need, and we are here to help them,” Polisky said over Skype.
“We are learning on the fly. We’ve never been open to the general public before, but now is the time to do whatever we can as a family, as a company, as a community.”
To place an order, call 323-235-4343, and for a list of products available, visit Nature’s Produce’s website.
Customers can pay by card over the phone or in person, or in cash.
Polisky said that his company has more 100 employees taking phone orders and loading the goods to people’s cars at one of their dock doors. Employees loading boxes will be wearing masks and gloves while keeping with social distancing standards.
“We will do everything in our power to make this as simple for everybody as possible during these frustrating times,” Polisky said.
Nature’s Produce has also been donating food to its employees, local food banks and first responders, Polisky said.
“We have a lot of product here that needs to move, and we want to move it to the people that are in need,” he said.
“Our world has been impacted, us as people, we’ve have been impacted, but I truly believe, we stick together, we stay strong, we will get through this as a community.”