Farmer's Market on Tamina is going into its fourth week operating as a Saturday drive-thru market, said owner Jennifer Lobel, after county and state officials placed restrictions on public gatherings in mid-March to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, causing the market to shift from a walk-thru market to a drive-thru market where customers can stay in their cars.
“To try and keep it limited to 10 people and have them six feet apart, the customers feel much safer being in their car,” she said.
Lobel said the market is only offering essential items, such as food, soaps, sanitizers and items from farmers.
“It takes about 25 minutes [to get] around. Our customers seem to be super patient,” she said. “For them it is an opportunity to get out of the house and support local [businesses].”
Lobel said vendors are happy they still have a place to sell their goods.
“They live off what they make, so they are thrilled that we are keeping [the market] open,” she said.
Lobel said many vendors offer prepay options on their websites, so customers only have to pick up items they have already purchased.
While some regular vendors have had to pass on the drive-thru market due to being or living with someone considered at risk for the new coronavirus, vendors do want the market to get back to normal so they can have more interactions with customers, Lobel said.
“It is education about their products, whether it is organic or has CBD oil in it, that people want to ask questions,” she said.
Lobel said she considered going back to a regulated walk-thru market for April 11, but chose not to afer receiving customer responses.
“The reaction was not positive, so I always listen to my customers,” she said.
Lobel said she is appreciative of customers who continue to support the market.
“We are so appreciative of this community’s support,” she said. “It’s not good when your livelihood is growing vegetables, so we are super appreciative of the people that come out every single Saturday.”
The market is held each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 32907 Tamina Road, Magnolia.