- Gelson’s is offering customers its seasonal favorite roasted Hatch chile peppers to go, according to local reports. Depending on the crop, stores will carry a variety of heat levels, ranging from mild to hot chilies.
The grocer, which typically hosts chile-roasting events at its stores every summer, will offer windows every Saturday from Aug. 8 to Sept. 5 for shoppers to pick up their orders. Customers must place their orders online by 4 p.m. each Thursday.
Gelson’s Kitchen is also offering an array of prepared items made with Hatch chiles, including cornbread, egg salad, macaroni and cheese, chicken wings, quesadillas and quiches.
For the past several years, Gelson's has been offering Southern Californians a taste of New Mexico with its Hatch chile festivals. Every summer the grocer trucks up large quantities of the chiles to its stores and hosts rotating celebrations that offer the signature chiles for sale as well as product giveaways, cooking classes and educational sessions with produce experts.
However, because of COVID-19, this year Gelson’s won’t be able to host any of its events and instead will offer its famous peppers online in bulk for shoppers to purchase.
The pandemic has uprooted many grocer’s signature events and in-store attractions. Still, retailers have found ways to safely offer alternatives. Jungle Jim’s, for example, has shifted its cooking classes online. And Heinen's and ShopRite have discovered a robot alternative to their popular salad bars, which have been shut down for months.
Other retailers are finding opportunities for new forms of entertainment during the pandemic. Hy-Vee recently launched exercise videos for kids, while Walmart is offering a virtual summer camp. The world's largest retailer is also using its giant parking lots to host drive-in movie screenings, which kick off August 14 and last through October.