Wilderness Farmers Market in Magnolia is using a drive-thru to continue operating in the wake of coronavirus concerns.
Homer Allison, owner and operator of Wilderness Farmers Market, said many changes have been made to keep the market safe and follow Montgomery County rules.
“The customers absolutely love it,” Allison said. “In fact, it has tripled our attendance.”
Some changes include: a shopping and passing lane, vendors are 50 feet apart and vendors sanitize their hands between every transaction.
Allison said the community has rallied around innovation and embraced the shift to a drive-thru farmers market.
“Just about all of our vendors are selling out,” Allison said. “If they are not selling out, they are having record sales.”
Allison said that national reports and moving on the fly helped to implement this change.
“We just proceeded forward based off the guidelines of judge Keough,” he said. “I decided to call his office to confirm, and they were well aware of the strategy and gave us a big thumbs up.”
Allison has also lowered the vendor fee from $25 to $15 per day.
“[I] picked up six vendors [since we changed to the drive-thru model],” he said. "A lot of these vendors don’t have markets they can set up in anymore.”
Allison said the market houses 30 vendors but has space for 40 more.
After customers asked if there would ever be a weekend market, Allison said now was the time to start a weekend market.
“There’s already so many Saturday markets, so we decided to go ahead and go for a Sunday market,” he said. “Let's go ahead and implement this while the iron is hot.”
The Sunday farmers market will have its grand opening April 5.
“Our ultimate vision is to make a huge market,” he said.