First, we are both humbled by and grateful for the outpouring of interest in the zero waste lifestyle, and the faith that our customers have given us in the last 18 months. Unfortunately, in spite of the growth we have seen, this year has come with many constraints that make business increasingly difficult. Our long-term plan has always been a full grocery store with plastic-free options and bulk bins galore, but the current ban on self-serve bulk foods from the County Health Department unfortunately makes that business plan nearly impossible. Due to COVID and all of the Zigs and Zags that we have lived in the last 8 months, a full refill store is not in the stars for 2020, and looking less likely in 2021. We hope that this ban will be lifted in the not-too-distant future, and we hope to be ready when it does. Until then, however, we need to make some changes for Byrd's Filling Station to survive this waiting game.
While consumers can often go online and find products easily now, that does not always indicate the strength of the supply chain. The supply chain for certain items continues to be difficult, and smaller retailers get lower priority on what is available. Even for some of our standard items, our order time has increased from a couple days to a few weeks, and some of our orders simply get cancelled when the vendor cannot fill them.
Want to help us grow into a store in the future? Help us spread the word! Tell your friends, family, and neighbors. Consider eco-friendly gifts from our store for this holiday season. Community support will help us grow to a store when the time is right!
We will continue to offer our most popular products and plastic-free swaps! We will continue to offer gift-worthy options for the upcoming holiday season, too. With that said, we are making the following changes:
Pickup: We hope customers will increasingly select shopping in-person by appointment, or choosing Contactless Pickup at checkout.
Deliveries: Sometimes, we all just need a delivery, though! Deliveries will now be consolidated on Wednesdays, similar to pre-COVID days. This allows for more efficient delivery routes and a lower footprint. Our delivery zone will be changing as well.
Delivery zone updates: Delivery is available from Millbrae to Palo Alto. Pickup still remains an option for those outside of this zone!
Bulk Food & Spices: At this time, we must suspend this program. The supply chain on this is particularly difficult for small suppliers! If you have gotten this far, know that we'll still be placing food orders from time to time. Want a large quantity of bulk food? Just email us and we can coordinate. Meeting the weekly grocery minimums is not always easy to do consistently, but we'll still occasionally be buying food for ourselves and if/when customers need it.
We remain dedicated to raising awareness of the problems associated with single-use plastics, and to helping make it easier for all of us to choose plastic-free packaging on virtually everything. I'm eternally grateful for the response that Byrd's Filling Station has received in the last 18 months, and hope to continue to help reduce single-use plastics.