During this unprecedented time, safety remains our foremost priority. Since the earliest cases of COVID-19 in the United States, Red Blossom has taken proactive measures to ensure the continued health of our staff and customers, and the safety of our products.
Timeline of Our Response
In late February 2020, with the first report of a community-transmitted case of COVID-19 in California, we elected to close our San Francisco retail shop and tasting room to the general public, switching to an appointment-only model. We took this step as a proactive measure (weeks before the issuance of local and statewide shelter-in-place orders) to maintain a healthy and food-safe environment for our staff and our teas. In the following days, we further limited physical traffic to our store, and by early March had fully transitioned our business to online-only.
On 08 May 2020, we launched Doorside Pickup, providing more flexibility for our local customers; our store remained closed to the public.
On 15 June 2020, we re-opened our San Francisco store on an appointment-only basis, as permitted by the City of San Francisco at the time.
On 19 September 2020, we launched Premium Tea-to-Go, allowing customers to enjoy freshly brewed artisanal teas in a convenient and safe way.
On 01 November 2020, we suspended our in-store shopping appointments due to the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases. We continue to offer doorside ordering and pickup.
Enhanced Safety Measures
Since initiating our response to the pandemic, we have implemented enhanced safety measures in addition to our standard food safety protocol to protect our staff and customers. We sanitize our store daily, and limit the number of staff allowed on site at any given time to promote social distancing. Staff are only permitted to work as long as they are healthy, and during their time on site are required to wash their hands frequently and wear protective equipment, including face masks, face shields, and gloves.
Impact on Tea — Harvests, Importing, & Food Safety
We frequently receive questions regarding how the pandemic has impacted tea production in China and Taiwan, and if the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) presents any food safety concerns with regards to tea.
The tea regions which supply our teas are far from large metropolitan areas and the major epicenters of the outbreak in China and Taiwan, and were thankfully spared the worst of the pandemic in those countries. In general, tea production was unaffected this year and we were still able to source many new products. For the most up-to-date information on new arrivals, please sign up for our newsletter.
Ensuring the health of our customers through the food safety of our teas has always been our top priority; this is why we voluntarily submit our crops to SGS Food Labs each year for third-party screening of pesticides, heavy metals, and chemical residues. Based on available science regarding the surface stability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, there is no reason to suspect an impact on the food safety of 2020 tea crops. If you have any concerns or questions regarding this or other issues, we are happy to answer them at email@example.com.
Continuity of Service
As of 01 November 2020, our in-store shopping appointments have been suspended due to the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases. In-store tea tastings have been suspended since mid-February 2020.
Our retail location is currently limited to doorside orders & pickup.
We are continuing to fulfill orders here from our online store, and offer FREE shipping on all domestic orders over $50 - simply choose "Free Shipping" at checkout. Due to our intentionally limited staffing, as well as the pandemic's impact on the mail service, we ask that you anticipate some delay in the fulfillment of your orders.
We offer FREE Store Pickup at our San Francisco tasting room. To select Store Pickup, simply choose the "Pick up" tab in the "Information" section at checkout, or click "Change" next to your shipping method to edit. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer Store Pickup through Apple Pay; you must checkout manually to use this option. Once you are notified that your order is ready for pickup, stop by our tasting room Mon-Sat, 11-5 and show your confirmation email and a photo ID to receive your order. Pickup orders must be collected within 4 weeks from date of purchase. Orders which have not been collected will be cancelled and refunded.
We are deeply grateful for the kindness and support you have given us throughout this crisis; knowing that our teas are helping to restore a sense of comfort and normalcy for you during these difficult times is our motivation each day. Should you have any questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We wish you continued health, happy sipping, and a swift return to balance.
With warm regards,
The RBT Team