Stater Bros. Cypress managing checkout with single line

A single bounding and trotting but cheerful employee controlled traffic for checkout at Stater Bros. Cypress this morning.

Chorizo and hot Italian sausage at the service meat counter inside Stater Bros. in Cypress. Photo by C.E.H. Wiedel.

We continued our survey of local grocery stores, and found no outside queue at Stater Bros. on Valley View Street in Cypress. Plenty of carts were available in the parking lot return areas.

(A mind-boggling line to get into the Costco at Walker Street and Katella Avenue stretched from the entrance through the parking lot, around the cul-de-sac and down to the intersection of Winners Circle with Katella. Yikes!)

Inside Stater Bros., high-demand categories had posted limits which, mostly, were pointless because the shelves were empty — except for baby wipes and diapers. Stater Bros. was the first store that we’ve visited since panic buying began with diapers in stock. All sizes, from newborn through size 6 and beyond. Limit of two small containers of baby wipes per family.

The single line feeding all the checkout registers snaked through the produce department but moved fast. The short woman keeping the carts moving was really hustling. The checkers were snapping things along. Baggers worked swiftly and smoothly. We hardly had time to strike up a conversation with those around us in line.

But what about the famous Stater Bros. service meat counter? Unlike Albertsons and Ralphs when we visited, the Stater Bros. service meat counter was still open and even held a tiny selection of bulk sausage — chorizo or hot Italian. At the far end, the fish section was full. Besides that, the counter was shiny and empty.

The shelves devoted to pre-packaged meat were lightly populated. We scored a ten-pound ham and a couple of steaks in a single package. Pre-packaged meat was limited to two packages per family.

We were also surprised to find more than no rice at all — both long grain and Jasmine, although what was there was being snatched up quickly. No tomato sauce at all, but lots of canned diced or whole tomatoes.

No toilet paper. No facial tissues. No paper towels. No paper napkins. No milk.

Dog food raided but not cat food. But kitty litter was gone!

Very little sandwich meat but some sliced cheeses still. We scored packages of sliced Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar.

Both shoppers and employees were mostly enduring the chaos with good cheer.

My guess continues to be that supplies of specific items will be spotty until the fever of panic buying cools. Provided supply chains don’t break down entirely, shelves should begin to consistently refill shortly.

And would whoever has bought two-years-worth of toiler paper please calm down? COVID-19 attacks the upper respiratory system. Your lungs get congested — you don’t get the scoots. So hoarding toilet paper is not helpful unless you’re expecting a barter economy following catastrophic collapse. Even then, nobody is hoarding booze — the hooch aisles at all the places we’ve visited are well stocked. You’d think hard liquor or beer would work better to barter than toilet paper, no?

Stay safe and healthy!


  1. That short woman keeping crowd control is my sister, Jennifer

    1. Author


      Thank you for reading Orange County Breeze, and taking the time to tell us about your sister, Jennifer.

      Please pass along to Jennifer our compliments on her crowd control zest and technique!

      May all of you stay healthy, and safe.

      Shelley Henderson
      editor, Orange County Breeze

  2. Thanks. Stay safe.

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