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Coronavirus: Greengrocers begin to reopen in Nelson

BRADEN FASTIER/STUFF                                                  Connings Food Market in Appleby re-opened to the public on Tuesday.

Greengrocers in Nelson are beginning to open as the coronavirus lockdown enters its fourth week.

Connings Food Market in Appleby reopened on Tuesday, while Benge & Co in Nelson are set to open their doors again on Thursday.

Speaking on behalf of Connings Food Market, Simon Conning said they received an email last week from MBIE’s Covid-19 essential businesses response team, informing them they had met the definitions of a supermarket and would be able to reopen.

He said since they made the application about a week and a half before, communications with MBIE had been limited.

“I’d almost kind of given up at that stage.”We’d changed everything around to do deliveries, and then a couple of days in we got the email saying we could reopen.”

BRADEN FASTIER/STUFF A strict 2-metre rule has been applied at Connings since they reopened.

Conning said with the huge number of applications to go through, it was understandable why it had taken so long.

“I know they had a lot of applications. It’s all they could do really, just shut down everything and then begin to reopen.”

At the end of March, Conning said it was a possibility they would have to dump produce if they could not sell it or give it away.

Fortunately though, he said through deliveries as well as donations to Kai with Love, they were able to make sure almost all of their produce was able to be used.

“It’s pretty good to be open, although it’s different – it’s nice to be back to kind of normal.”

In Nelson, Benge & Co have also been given the green light to reopen, with their retail store resuming its regular business hours on Thursday morning.

Benge’s store was initially open during the lockdown, but had been closed down on April 2 and then began a delivery service.

In a post on the company’s Facebook page, they stated they had met the criteria to operate again as a retail store during the lockdown, and would be open from Monday to Saturday.

The post stated restrictions would still be in place at the store with regards to social distancing and use of hand sanitiser.

“We are very grateful to be operating again and keeping all that fresh produce flowing through the community.”

Credit: Stuff

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