The Clintonville store is holding its own against grocery chains, even in a pandemic.
Saturday, Nov. 14, started like any typical day for Jennifer Williams. After her morning routine of breakfast with two cups of tea, an email and social media check and then a shower, she made the 35-minute trek south from the Morrow County home she shares with her husband, Scott Bowman, to open the doors to Weiland’s Market at 10 a.m.
That afternoon, as Williams was at the front of the store on a call with a customer who was placing an order for a Thanksgiving meal, she saw a man come in without a mask. For Williams, a staunch proponent of face coverings since the earliest days of COVID-19, that was a no-no.
As she weaved her way through the Clintonville store to find him in the deli department, she could hear customers pleading with him to put on a mask. There’s a sign at the entrance that says face coverings are required for service along with messaging throughout the store that leaves no doubt—the issue is not up for debate. The exchange went like this.
“Sir, you’ve got to put on a mask,” Williams says.
“Miss, you can leave me alone now,” the man says.
“No, I’m not going to leave you alone. You put a mask on, or you leave. My husband and I own this store. That’s the rule.”
He reached for his mask—he had one—and Williams went back to her call. But she knew that wasn’t the end of it. When she hung up, she found him in the liquor department with his mask pulled down below his nose. Her message to him was the same. Yet this time, as she delivered it, he whipped out his phone and took her photo to intimidate her. On his way out he whispered to her, “You would have made a great Nazi.”
Williams banned him from the store. A customer who had been behind him in the liquor department told Williams the man had put on a pair of brass knuckles after he took her picture.
Turns out, amid COVID-19, for Williams, Bowman and their team, there really aren’t days that can be described as “typical” anymore.
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