‘Apple Cart’ Owner Points To Sanitization Efforts As Tuesday Opening at Mead Park Nears


The owner-operator of a popular gourmet food provider in Mead Park said that although he always looks forward to opening for the season, he’s “very anxious” this year with the presence of COVID-19 in the community.

The Apple Cart will open Tuesday at Mead Park Lodge, according to Emad Aziz.

“We are hiring a person specifically to walk around all day long and clean up, sanitize tables and chairs,” Aziz told NewCanaanite.com.

The Apple Cart is one of several local businesses that’s communicating with customers about on-site safety measures as New Canaan adjusts in the wake of a confirmed case of COVID-19 here. Reported Wednesday by emergency management officials, the presence of the highly contagious virus led to decisions to have New Canaan Public Schools students learn from home for two weeks, as well as the closures until further notice of New Canaan Library, Grace Farms, Lapham Community Center, New Canaan YMCA and the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society, among other organizations.

Emergency Management Director Mike Handler said that although New Canaan is “not yet” in “a situation where we are ordering mass self-isolation or quarantine, we are asking that you avoid large gatherings and to maintain appropriate social distancing of at least six feet.”

“We are encouraging individuals to stay home as much as possible to reduce their personal risk of being exposed, but also to limit the spread of the virus,” Handler said in an email and voice message to the community.

Local food establishments are reaching out to customers through email blasts and social media with details of how they’re working to keep their locations clean and safe. 

Organika on Main Street informed customers in an email that it’s “constantly disinfecting all door handles, bathrooms, and registers in addition to our staff changing gloves after each item they make.”

Walter Stewart’s Market posted on Facebook that it is practicing “the best disinfecting protocols to ensure that our store is as safe as possible.”

“As we are constantly evaluating our daily routines, we know you are doing the same,” the post said. “We respectfully request that any patrons exhibiting signs of the illness please refrain from entering our store.” Stewart’s also reminded customers that it offers home delivery and curbside shopping service.

Other measures taken by local businesses include leaving doors open when possible so patrons don’t have to touch handles, taking only credit cards and not cash to limit potential for transmission and offering private appointments and free delivery to minimize interaction. (Here’s a comprehensive list of what local businesses are doing, compiled by the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, which will update its Facebook page with more listings.)

Meanwhile, Aziz said he’s opening The Apple Cart a few days earlier than planned in order to accommodate families that choose to get out and visit Mead Park. The menu this year will feature new items such as all-beef chili with no beans, pesto chicken quesadilla and a “mighty” green salad, as well as popular standbys such as the tuna avocado melt.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevention tips include washing hands with soap and water, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, going to the bathroom and before eating or preparing food, as well as covering up when coughing or sneezing, the CDC said.

Here’s a link to a page on the town’s website that includes information on COVID-19 and a link to sign up for New Canaan’s emergency outcall system as well as the Office of Emergency Management’s Facebook page. Information on COVID-19 from New Canaan Public Schools is available here

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