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Coquitlam grocery store to help others source masks from Asia

T&T Supermarket, which has a branch at Coquitlam Centre, to help other businesses source disposable face masks from Asia.
T&T supermarket grocery store covid-19
A T&T employee cleans surfaces. Submitted

A popular Asian grocery retailer has launched a channel to help people and local businesses source face masks from Asia. 

T&T Supermarket, which has a branch at Coquitlam Centre, said it has been helping some local suppliers throughout the pandemic to source personal protective equipment to help keep staff safe. 

In store, customers have been only able to purchase one box of masks per family, a policy that has meant small businesses have had to look elsewhere. Now, the supermarket is looking for a way to formalize a supply channel for those looking to reopen their business.  

“Direct importing from Asia is not everyone’s forte, but it happens to be ours. Normally our focus is food, but we have urgently become experienced in sourcing disposable face masks and other essential products too,” wrote CEO Tina Lee in a statement, noting the service is not to be meant for resale.

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The grocery chain has consistently been among the first to implement protocols to stem the spread of COVID-19, and was an early adopter of customer temperature checks and in-store mask policies.

But with the warming weather, the company has found customers forced to queue outdoors has led to “inaccurately high” results. 

“We don’t want to be turning away customers that are registering a high temperature just because they have been standing outside in the heat, or just coming in after some outdoor activity,” wrote Lee, adding employees will still be subject to mandatory temperature checks. 

In the meantime, customers are still asked to wear masks when they enter the store.