Amid disorder, Apple offers calm – and food
March 26, 2020 | View PDF
If you have been shopping in Bakersfield recently, you've most likely waited in a line just to get in the store only to be met with empty shelves. If you do happen to find a loaf of bread, you are limited to just one, no matter the size of your family. Staples like milk, eggs, toilet paper, bread, diapers and water have been in high demand, forcing residents of Kern County to go on treasure hunts for groceries.
As residents of Shafter have found, there is a store in town working overtime to make sure people are not running dry on supplies.
Apple Market, under new ownership, has been steadily keeping the store more stocked than the majority of stores in Kern County.
Manager Carlos Obaid and his crew keep the store open during their normal hours, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. As of Tuesday, they are running low on certain items and have to ration them out, making sure everyone gets a chance at the items they need. "We don't like limiting any of our items, but with some of them, we want to make sure the largest number of people in town get a chance to buy them, avoiding anyone having to do without," Obaid said. Shoppers have been able to get essentials without having to go fight the crowds in Bakersfield.
David Franz, director of the Shafter Learning Center, told of his finds. "I didn't think I would be able to find milk and eggs, but I was able to get both along with other things we needed for the house. I was pleasantly surprised."
When asked if they have considered limiting the number of customers in the store at a time – a method now used by many stores to control customer flow – Obaid said they have not. "We will not limit the number of people who want to shop in our store. You will not have to wait outside to get in."
Water has been in high demand everywhere, but Apple Market has had a little better luck because, according to Obaid, they deal directly with Crystal Geyser Water and don't have to go through a vendor.
Obaid said they are trying everything they can to serve customer needs. "We love the members of this community and we are working hard to keep them stocked with what they need."
Obaid says they are doing more than just trying to keep their shelves stocked. They also are lowering prices on a lot of items, making it possible for shoppers' dollars to go further. "I came in one day and told my people that I wanted to lower the prices. So, we marked a lot of our items down to help our customers get more for their money in this challenging time," he said.