Skip navigation

Morrison Healthcare turns café’s uptick in business into essential pop-up market at Medical Health Center Health System in Texas

Thousands of pounds of pinto beans, rice, ground beef, tortilla mix and cases upon cases of bleach, toilet paper, bottled water and more…these are just a few items that have been sustaining hospital employees during these trying times of coronavirus.

At Medical Health Center Health System’s main hospital in Odessa, Texas, a pop-up market has been a day-to-day lifeline of convenience and safety for the healthcare workers continuing to work during the COVID-19 crisis.

The hospital café is open 16 hours per day, along with a Quiznos, Starbucks and a sushi concept. Preservice meetings at the café focus on handwashing demos and sanitization best practices. Dining areas are closed, and social distancing is practiced in line. The to-go options have been the workhorse, here, as seen at many onsite operations during this uncertain time.

According to Todd Lavigne, director food and nutrition with Morrison Healthcare, the hospital café has actually seen an uptick in business over the past few weeks.

“We’ve been quite busy in the main café as the hospital staff now has limited options to go outside of the hospital for lunch,” Lavigne says.

The idea for a pop-up market within the café came “from our account operators within Morrison,” Lavigne says. “We have been working with three main vendors to supply the demand we have created.”

Now, hospital employees at the end of their shifts can pick up household essentials to take home, saving them the time, stress and potential exposure to coronavirus that a trip to the grocery store could entail.

In just three days, the new pop-up market sold 2,500 pounds of dry pinto beans, 2,750 pounds of white rice, 1,295 pounds of ground beef and 750 pounds of tortilla mix. Sounds like the beginning of some nutritious and delicious burritos at home.

Other items include staples like cases of bleach, toilet paper, bottled water and other cleaning supplies. Here’s a look.

Contact Tara at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter @Tara_Fitzie

TAGS: Coronavirus
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.