The Fresh Market asks customers to please wear masks

As of Tuesday, April 14, The Fresh Market became the first area store going public to ask shoppers to wear some type of face covering before entering the building.

The new request was announced in an e-mail to customers Saturday, April 11, stating the decision was in response to “the CDC’s latest recommendations” in the wake of the COVID-19


“While some state and city ordinances have already made it mandatory for shoppers to wear face coverings, The Fresh Market is taking this additional step to be consistent, proactive and better ensure the safety of everyone in all 159 of their store locations,” a press release stated.

“This request to require guests to wear face coverings is in the same spirit as asking guests to follow physical distancing guidance,” the release continued. “In order for these safety measures to be effective, The Fresh Market is asking the community to participate.”

However, shoppers will not be refused entrance if they are not wearing masks “unless it is already mandated by state or city ordinance,” said Meghan Flynn, corporate director of communications and community for The Fresh Market. “But, we are asking guests to support this recommendation for the benefit of the community.” The Fresh Market already had been requiring all team members wear a face mask or cloth face covering while working in the store.

“In order to help keep our communities safe, wearing face coverings is a necessary measure in public settings where physical separation is difficult,” said James Ball, director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance at The Fresh Market. “There is growing evidence that more individuals than previously thought may be carriers of coronavirus but do not show symptoms of the illness.

“Wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of the virus ...,” he added. 

“We are asking guests to bring their own cloth face covering,” Flynn said. “Simple instructions for how to make your own face coverings can be found on the CDC website.

“Acceptable coverings may include a face mask (not the N95 masks that are in short supply and should be reserved for health care personnel), homemade masks or other cloth face coverings such as a scarf, bandana or handkerchief, and should complement the physical distancing guidelines we have placed ...,” he added.