There’s a new layer of health safety in place at a South Shore grocery store.
As of Wednesday morning, Local Market Foods, 2101 E. 71st St., required everyone — customers and staff — to wear some form of facial covering before entering the store.
Eddie Roque, the store’s general manager, said the decision was made based on requests from customers themselves.
“The safer the better,” said Roque, who said his store is the first in the city to require such a measure.
“The customers are the ones more pushing for it,” he added. “Customers are the ones who asked us to sell masks weeks ago.”
Roque said the store and its 150-person staff hadn’t had to turn away any mask-less customers as of Wednesday afternoon, though some had forgotten their face coverings in their vehicles. If they didn’t have anything to shield their nose and mouth, they were referred to the front of the store where face coverings are offered for sale.
For $23.99, customers can buy a five-pack of N95 respirator masks. In recent weeks, the store has started offering disposable gloves to shoppers, as well.
The few dozen customers in the store Wednesday afternoon all had their face covered.
One shopper, who wished to be identified only as Elizabeth, said she appreciated the policy because “they’re taking protective measures to protect the patrons of the store.”
Last week, the towns of Glenview, Cicero and Skokie began requiring patrons and staff of all essential businesses to also wear masks. Several more suburbs have since imposed similar rules.