The 2020 Golden Farmers Market outdoor season enjoyed a successful opening day last Wednesday, June 17, with locals flocking to Spirit Square for fresh produce.
According to Melissa Kardash, who works for the market, vendors were pleased with the overall turnout of customers and how they adapted to the new COVID era rules.
“I think overall people were excited to be out and about and seeing familiar faces,” said Kardash.
“Just reconnecting those relationships amongst customers and vendors was nice and positive to see.”
Moving forward, the market will continue to place an emphasis social and physical distancing to ensure all patrons feel comfortable ini the market surroundings.
Newly hired market managers will also remain on hand to ensure market patrons people follow the directional walking flow arrows and sanitize their hands.
“Sometimes we just need to politely remind customers to move along and not stop. If they want to visit with friends they have to do that outside of the market area unfortunately,” said Kardash.
“Everyone has a different level of comfort and some of our senior customers felt that they were a little unsafe or that people weren’t distancing as well as they could have been.”
Kardash attributes this to the excitement over opening day.
She expects people will seek to be respectful and compliant with the new rules as they adjust to them moving forward.
Arianne Lapointe, one of the two new managers tasked with ensuring that everyone is washing their hands and following the flow, echoes that statement.
Lapointe says everyone has been eager to participate in the new rules.
“Everyone is happy to wash hands and follow the arrows and no one has been problematic at all it’s been great actually,” said Lapointe after the market seasonal debut last week.
“It feels safe. People know that that’s what they’re gonna have to do and the literally just come and hand their hands for sanitizer, like ‘I’m ready.’ People know that this is the new normal.”
Moving forward, customers can expect more vegetable and fruit selection in the market as the season picks up, according to Kardash.
It’s been a slow season with the weather, but the gardens and farmers are starting to harvest their crops, she said.
For next week, while there’s no specific event or live music, the market will run from noon to 3 p.m. on Canada Day.
Kardash says customers can expect some new vendors as the market will try to continue rotating in new booths throughout the summer.