Food Basics company slogan is, "Always More For Less" and they certainly are achieving this with how they treat their customers. By way of customers being able to get "more" customer service with "less/NO" harrassment and being able to enjoy their shopping experiences. Recently I had the absolute pleasure, and I do mean absolute pleasure, of being able to shop at a grocery store who actually honors people's mask exemptions. During all this nonsense of having to wear a mask everywhere, I would do my shopping at Food Basics due to its proximity to where I live. While I would be shopping, I'd always hear an announcement over the store's intercom system in regards to Covid-19 safety measures, which includes wearing a mask. However unlike any other businesses I had been in during this long overdrawn mask mandate. Food Basics makes a point of bringing to the attention of customers, that not everyone has the ability to wear a face covering and asks for them to respect this. My Mother and my 83 year old Grandmother can't wear a face covering, so once a week I attend this Food Basics for my Mom to grab some necessities for her. I've been doing this since Doug Ford's ridiculous announcement before Christmas, that mask exemptions will not be honored and that stores must enforce the masking policies. He of course later on re-worded his statement to say, that it's up to the individual businesses whether they except mask exemptions or not. However the intended damage of his initial statement had already been achieved and most businesses were now ridiculing and victimizing people for their inability to wear a mask. Even though by doing so businesses are violating the very mandate which they are trying to follow, due to every single Public Health mandate including exemptions for people who can't wear a mask. We all know however, the Government is okay with people following only the parts of a guideline, (not a law), that helps the Government's narrative. Well my Mother and Grandmother got caught up in the whirlwind of Doug Ford's words and everywhere they went they were attacked by people. Psychologically, emotionally and to the point of almost physically, all because of their inability to wear a mask and them being exempted from having to do so. This mask shaming got so bad, that my mom stopped going into stores and my Dad & I would do her shopping for her. As well my Grandmother would try to force herself to wear a mask, even when it was difficult for her to breath. All of this mask shaming was caused by our incompetent Premier Doug "Cheesecake" Ford and his irresponsible remarks. He calls Ontarians a bunch of Yahoo's and then, because of his careless remarks he causes stuff like this to happen to citizens in Ontario. After a couple months of this garbage, my Mom got to the point of being in tears and feeling absolutely useless and wanting to just give up, because she couldn't even go into a store to get a couple tomatoes for dinner. Knowing that actions speak louder than words and money talks & bullsh@t walks. A couple of weeks ago I decided to talk to the Management at Food Basics, to ask about the stores announcement I hear in regards to people respecting others mask exemptions. Now I don't mind at all shopping for my Mom, however I'd rather shop with my Mom and her feel comfortable in a store, rather than her feeling centered out in a store. So I asked the Manager if it's just a general announcement or if they actually stand behind the statement they broadcast in the store. I explained to him the harassment and mask shaming that my Mother and Grandmother have had to endure from other businesses, their staff and customers. I explained to him how all this has caused my Mom to get to the point where she feels absolutely useless and just wants to just give up. The Manager explained to me that the way my Mom & Grandmother feel and what they've had to go through, are last things that Food Basics ever wants any of their customers to feel or to go through while shopping in their stores. The Manager reassured me that they do not tolerate harassment in their store whatsoever, it is quite clearly stated in the Mask Guidelines that certain people are to be exempted and it is not up to Food Basics to decide who those exempted people are. He assured me the most my Mother & Grandmother would experience in their store, is the staff member at the front door may ask them if they can wear a mask. He said, if they tell the staff member they have an exemption, then that will be the end of the conversation and they can continue on with their shopping. So a couple days later I decided to take my Mother & Grandmother shopping at this Food Basics. Just as the Manager had promised, when we came in the store the staff member asked if they could wear a mask and they claimed their exemption. The staff member said, ok thank you very much and enjoy your day. While we were in the store not one person said a single word to us about not having a mask on and there were actually a couple other customers in the store not wearing masks as well. When we were just about done our shopping, the Manager came over to make sure that we were able to enjoy our shopping experience without any problems. We informed him, that it was the best shopping experience we have had in months and that It was quite a pleasant change, to be able to go into a store and not feel stressed out. I spoke further with the Manager, I explained to him that I was a Journalist and I'd love to do a piece on Food Basics, so that the public knows it is a harassment free place to shop. This Manager had no idea I was a Journalist the first time I spoke with him or when he came over to assure that we had a pleasant experience. So that means this Manager conducts himself in a proper manner, regardless of who he's speaking with. So to me this all means Food Basics; unlike Costco, Canadian Tire and No Frills just to name a few, actually respect and appreciate their customers, by placing the utmost importance on high quality customer service. The day after our shopping experience at Food Basics my Grandmother said to my Mom, shopping at Food Basics was the most she's been able to enjoy herself in public, since the beginning of these ridiculous Lockdowns. You know folks as nice as that statement is to hear, it really speaks volumes to how horrible our society is today. To think that an 83-year-old woman, who has seen a lot of things in her life, can say that her best public experience in a year was being able to shop at a grocery store without feeling belittled by other people. I'd like any of the naysayers reading this article to really let that set in, because that could be your Grandmother & Mother being made to feel this way. The two beautiful ladies in this article are just like thousands of other people in our country, that are made to feel these horrible ways by other human beings in public today. I wanted to write this article, because as Journalists we report on so much negativity every week and it seems that's what the world is full of today. I also feel it's important to let the public know where they can shop and not be harassed. So when there is a positive thing happening in our society, no matter how small it may be, I think it is very important to let people know about it. As the old saying goes, it's the small things that matter the most in life and for some people the smallest thing you can do as a human being, is to simply not harass them over a mask. So I applaud Food Basics for recognizing this and I thank them from the bottom of my heart; for giving my Mother & Grandmother, and every one of their customer's, a positive moment in a negative society. By doing so you are helping to reinstate the dignity in our society, that so many people have lost.
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