What we're doing in light of COVID-19.

May 29th, 2020.

We have some exciting new to share this week:

  • We planted some 68,700 tomato and 4,800 eggplant seedlings. The plants take six to eight weeks until the first fruit are ready for harvest, which explains why you can’t find them on the Marketplace at the moment. Meanwhile, our Ahuntsic greenhouse is now home to pepper plants, while Laval is getting ready for a big batch of cucumber seedlings. Hang in there, everything will be back on the Marketplace (and oh so plentiful) by July.
  • Starting June 6th, we’re offering deliveries 7 days a week! Lufavores who would like to switch their default delivery day to Saturday or Sunday can do so through their account settings. As we continue to streamline deliveries, these weekend slots will help spread things out over the whole week so that we can catch up and keep up everyday.

 

May 15th, 2020.

With things move steadily along, we just have two quick updates for you:

  • The Marketplace will be closing at 10 pm instead of midnight from now on to give our partners a head start on the next day's orders.
  • And we're still tweaking our home delivery - this time, by asking you to empty your basket upon arrival so our drivers can retrieve the empties on the spot. No more plastic bags (hopefully) and it’s totally optional - your driver will leave your basket as is if you’re not home to receive it or prefer not to unpack it right away.

 

May 8th, 2020.

Aside from working out the kinks with our newfound pick-up points, it’s been a very good week.

Our deliveries have never been more:

  • Trackable (that ETA on your Marketplace is more accurate than ever);
  • On time (no after-midnights this week!);
  • And steadily growing (we’re carefully onboarding our waitlisted Lufavores).

We're still working hard to get our fourth greenhouse (a.k.a. The largest rooftop greenhouse out there.) up and running. With construction nearly complete, the next few weeks will be dedicated to starting it up and planting those rows. We’ll be rotating which of our crops are grown where, by fully pulling and replanting each of our greenhouses over the coming month, as the Ville Saint-Laurent location gets set to host our entire tomato and eggplant production.

 

May 1st, 2020.

We deployed a big software update to improve our delivery logistics this week, and, despite a rough Monday (a bug in said software being to blame), we had a fantastic week.
Here’s what else you need to know this week:

  • We opened up the waitlist and welcomed many new Lufavores aboard.
  • We now deliver to nearly twenty pick-up points and embassies in and beyond Montreal.
  • Our core customer service team, and those from our marketing team and other departments who have stepped into the role temporarily, are absolutely crushing it and are getting back to Lufavores in good time.
  • We've made serious headway and late and next day deliveries are fewer and far between.

 

April 24th, 2020.

We've found a rhythm - in our warehouse, in our team, and in supplying Lufavores. Here’s what you need to know this week:

  • We’re now delivering to over 4000 Lufavores each day, and we’re expanding our capacity and coverage daily.
  • We now cover home delivery in L'assomption, Châteauguay, Beauharnois, and Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, and now deliver to the following pick-up points: Gatineau, West Island, Lachine, Verdun, NDG, Ville Saint-Laurent, Ahuntsic, Plateau, Rosemont, HoMa, Quebec City, North Shore, and South Shore.
  • For contactless home delivery, it’s important that you keep track of your delivery, so please be sure to activate notifications in your account settings and retrieve your basket as soon as it’s been delivered.
  • Starting next week, we’ll slowly be opening up the waitlist and our “Second basket” option will also become available again.

 

April 17, 2020.

We're on to week three of first-come, first-served, but we’ve even added more spots and more pick-up points! Here's what you need to know:

  • We’ve made a lot of progress this week. We now have pick-up points in Ville Saint-Laurent, Ahuntsic, Quebec City, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Rive-Nord (Blainville), and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. When you activate your basket, you'll be asked to enter your address and select either home delivery or a pick-up point. Be sure to double check that the delivery method you selected is correct, as you can't switch after your basket is activated.
  • Our deliveries are catching up and sometimes running quite late. This is only getting better and most orders will continue to be delivered by 10:00 pm.

Ça va bien aller.

 

April 10, 2020.

It's been two weeks of first-come, first-served and although not perfect, it’s allowed us to find our footing and increase capacity as we’re able to each week. As a reminder, Lufavores wanting a basket need to get to their Marketplace as soon as possible after opening to activate their order either by home delivery or at one of our pick-up points, regardless of your default delivery settings. If you are unable to activate your basket day-of, you can keep checking back until midnight before your delivery day as a spot may have opened up.

Here's what you need to know this week:

  • As we're limited by our own social distancing measures, we must pack over a longer period of time. As a result, we're extending our home delivery window from 10 am - 12 am in order to finish each delivery route. Rest assured, most baskets will arrive before 10 pm and you can always check your basket's ETA at the top of your Marketplace.
  • If you have empty boxes at home, you can leave them outside your door with the cooler bags and ice packs closed inside before your next delivery day (at least 24 hours prior if possible). Your driver will do their best to collect them when they come by, but if they don't get to it, you can keep them safe for us for another week. If you are able, you can drop your empty boxes at our Ville Saint-Laurent offices located at 201-3075 Boulevard Thimens, Saint-Laurent, Quebec H4R 1Y2.
  • And some more good news! We're continuing to deliver baskets to Quebec City, and we're planning on rolling out a few more pick-up points this week.

Once again, we thank you for your support and patience with us, Lufavores. You're our first priority, and we will continue to update you on any future changes. Ça va bien aller.

 

April 3, 2020.

We're continuing with our first-come, first serve system that we introduced last week. Thankfully,  our internal capacity is improving, and we are slowly beginning to increase the number of daily orders. If you miss a spot, you should definitely check back before your delivery day to see if any have opened up.

We also have some good news for you. We've added capacity by adding more staff and an extra pick-and-pack shift. We're continually bolstering our safety precautions and have a nurse checkpoint in place as well as someone dedicated to reinforcing distancing protocols. Our team has been crushing the customer service game too, and we're nearly caught up. And last but certainly not least, we're making a comeback to Quebec City with a central pick-up point option for our Lufavores there. We truly cannot thank you enough for standing by us as we navigate this situation together. To help answer many of your questions, please refer to the FAQ.

We also need all the empty baskets we can get our hands on, and we need your help:

  • Please remember to leave them outside by the door or return them to your driver on your next delivery. It's best practice to wash your hands before handling the basket and to leave it outside your door (ideally at least 24 hours before pick-up if you can) with the lid closed.
  • If you are able, we'd really appreciate it if you could return your empty baskets to our Ville Saint-Laurent offices located at: 201-3075, Thimens Boulevard, Saint Laurent, H4R 1Y3, (Monday to Friday between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm).

In addition to baskets, we also need our cooler bags. Here's what you should know:

  • Your delivery man will transfer your frozen and cold items from the cooler bag to a plastic one in your basket and take the cooler bag with him. We know that plastic bags aren't ideal, and we're working to get enough compostable bags in order as we wait for our next batch of cooler bags to arrive.
  • We recommend activating SMS notifications in your account settings so you can know exactly when your basket arrives.

Thanks again for sticking by us as we work through these uncertain times. We’ll continue to keep you updated as things evolve.

 

March 27th, 2020.

We are rising to the challenge of being an essential service in these ever-evolving times, but we’re met with the unexpected every day. These range from the necessary closure of pick-up points that’s left us delivering what we can by our remaining means, to glitches or delays caused when we push our software to the brink, to anxiety throughout our core team. As we put out one fire, we’re often quickly met with the next - but it’s not stopping us.

Here what this next two weeks will look like:

  • We are continuing to deliver solely by home delivery and at our Ville Saint-Laurent office pick-up point, which means that those outside of our range will unfortunately not be able to receive a basket this week.
  • We have decided to put a first-come, first-served system in place to ensure equal access to a weekly basket. Check the email letting you know your Marketplace is open, if and when you receive it, for all the details on how to receive a basket. We’ve implemented a waitlist for new subscribers, and we’re hunkering down to supply our core Lufavores.
  • Our Customer Service team continues to be overloaded, so we also please ask that you hold on to any minor requests for now, as well as know that there will be a delay of at least a few days in our responses.

Our team is working incredibly hard to get back on top of things, but we're not quite there yet. We truly cannot thank you enough for standing by us and giving us whatever patience you have left as we navigate these times together.

 

March 24th, 2020.

With great power comes great responsibility. We are an essential service, a responsibility that we take incredibly seriously, and that we’ll continue to deliver on. However, we’ve had to adapt to new challenges every day and have had no choice but to make some tough calls in order to keep up this week, especially after yesterday’s news.

Please take note of the following temporary changes we’ve made to reduce order volumes for the time being. We need to catch up so that we can continue to be a reliable service to all our Lufavores - and this will help get us there.

If your order is affected, you will receive a dedicated email. Please avoid contacting customer service unless there’s an issue above and beyond the present.

Here are the changes we’ve made this week:

  • As initial steps, we’ve removed the options for second baskets and gift baskets, and created a waitlist for new subscribers since we currently don’t have the capacity to take on additional orders. However, we are determined to build capacity and respond to the demand throughout this time.
  • We’ve had to cancel many orders this week, but remain committed to delivering all remaining orders - until very late if need be.
  • We’re building automatic credit card refund capability into our system as we speak, so that we can refund all outstanding account credits directly to your credit card in the coming days.
  • In light of yesterday’s news, unexpected capacity challenges, and the closure of more and more businesses, we’ve decided to cancel all pick-up point deliveries for the rest of this week. We’ll deliver baskets exclusively via home delivery and to our Ville Saint-Laurent office pick-up point. Unfortunately, we have a limited capacity when it comes to home delivery and it may not be available in your region. Deciding to cut back on serving Lufavores has been the most difficult decision we’ve made so far. To those that won’t be able to order from us for now, we’re incredibly sorry and please know that this is temporary. We’ll regroup, expand our coverage, and roll out regular deliveries again as soon as possible. These moves allow us to dial back right away, be fully reliable in the coming weeks, and to continue to grow long-term.
  • We plan to reevaluate our current situation come Friday, and we’ll keep you posted on any extended or additional measures that could impact deliveries next week.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Due to delays, we are also behind on Customer Service. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can, but it could take a few days. We appreciate your patience (whatever you have left), and please try only to contact us for urgent issues and no more than once per issue.
  • We need help. We’re urgently looking for team members who are ready, willing, and able to work in our Ville Saint-Laurent warehouse to feed Lufavores. If that’s you or someone you know, please contact us at hr@lufa.com.

Thank you for your support and your patience, and hang in there Lufavores.

 

March 19th, 2020.

Despite all that’s going on, we're getting as many orders out as we can while also keeping our team and our Lufavores safe. In addition to upping the ante on cleaning and hygiene protocols, we're aiming to stay as efficient as possible to keep up. We’ll be making the following changes to our deliveries next week:

  • Merging home delivery windows. Starting Monday, March 23rd, we’re merging to a single home delivery window of 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Your estimated delivery time will be kept as up-to-date as possible in your account throughout the day, so that you can still plan around your basket arrival.
  • Increasing home delivery capacity. We've exceptionally added some non-electric rental vehicles to our fleet to make sure we can get all orders where they need to go.
  • Changes to pick-up points. We expect some of our pick-up points to temporarily close their doors. As we try our best to transfer baskets to the closest alternative, we also encourage Lufavores who have an affected pick-up point to opt for home delivery if they can.

We have a couple other reminders for you...

  • Return your empty baskets. If you're a Lufavore and have a few baskets accumulated at home, we'd ask that you return them - either to the nearest pick-up point or to your home delivery driver. With order volumes up, we need as many baskets and insulated liners as we can to keep up.
  • Help those who help others. We’ve been in contact with Moisson Montreal who have told us that they are running dangerously low on supplies and volunteers. While we'll be sending them as much as we can, we want to encourage Lufavores to help as well.

It’s been a hectic week but our team has risen up unbelievably. We're doing all we can to keep up with everything from customer service to deliveries, and we’re grateful for Lufavores’ patience as we navigate this situation together.

 

March 13th, 2020.

By now, we're sure you're following the latest on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Although the outbreak is still relatively low in Quebec, we want to let you know that we're taking every precaution to make sure our team, our veggies, and our Lufavores are safe. Here's what we've done so far:

  • Talking to our team and reinforcing hand washing. We're briefing staff on best practices and putting even stricter hygiene policies in place. We'll be insisting that staff showing any symptoms of illness, who have recently travelled, or may have reason to believe they came in contact with the virus stay home and contact us immediately. The goal is to support and protect our team, follow the latest provincial guidelines, and provide the flexibility needed to navigate this situation together.
  • Upping the ante on cleaning protocols. We always clean each basket between use, but we’re going a step further with a stronger solution as well as adding more sanitizing stations and increasing the cleaning frequency for shared spaces.
  • Keeping up and keeping calm. We’re seeing some increase in demand, so we're stocking up and staffing accordingly. We’ll also be increasing our delivery fleet and timelines as needed to keep things running smoothly.
  • Staying up to date. We’ve formed an internal taskforce, we're tracking the latest developments through the WHO and the Canadian and Quebec governments, and we’ll continue to evaluate the situation as it evolves.

It’s going to be a busy time, but we have a great game plan, an amazing team, and we’re keeping close tabs company-wide. It’s also worth noting that many sources, including the WHO, indicate that the risk of transmission from food surfaces is low. Add to that the advantage of a local food system like ours, meaning less travel and handling and more transparency on where our food is coming from.

Stay informed, rest assured we’re on it, and don’t hesitate to reach out,

The Lufa Farms Team