It’s business as usual in rural Banks

Published 7:13 pm Friday, March 27, 2020

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At the Banks Buy-Rite, it’s business as usual. But, it’s almost always that way in small, rural communities.

There is just something casual about living in a community like that. Those who shop the Banks Buy-Rite are most often family or friends. Sometimes both but hardly ever strangers.

The atmosphere Thursday noon was relaxed and friendly. Customers were shopping for staples and others were waiting to be served at the deli.

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However, the tables that are usually filled with diners were oddly empty, an indication that all is not well with the world at this time.

Al Roton, who owns and operates the Bank Buy Rite, was behind the meat counter, cutting an order of pork chops and restocking the meat case.

“Hamburger meat is hard to get and then we can’t keep it,” he said. “People are buying it in large quantities, probably because hamburger meat can be prepared in so many different ways. And, the way things unsure like they are right now, hamburger meat is good meat to have on hand. So, it’s in short supply.”

With the uncertainty of the effects of the coronavirus, business at the Banks Buy Rite, has been usual, steady and hectic depending on the news of the day.

Roton said people have been buying certain products in large quantities, just as they are doing in the large grocery stores, causing short supplies at both.

“Right now, it’s paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, bread and meat. It’s those kinds of items that people are buying in large quantities,” he said. “From what I’m hearing, before long, some cola products will be hard to get along with potato chips and other varieties of chips.”

Cokes and chips are among items that most people buy often, he said.  “Snack items are always in demand but especially now, with kids at home and many people off work, the demand will increase and, as the demand goes up, the supply naturally goes down.”

Roton said, of course,  no one knows how long the coronavirus will continue or to what extent. “If people start to panic and start to buy food products they don’t need, that could be an increasing problem for those who do need them,” he said. “And, the longer the virus continues, the slower business will become because people who are out of work don’t have money to spend.”