On an unseasonably sunny Saturday in November, the doors to our new facility finally opened. After so many years of planning — from not only the design of the brand new market facility, but to the small details in our market halls like where to hang individual signs and in what color — opening the space was like taking a long, deep breath of relief. We had done it. The vision was finally a reality.
Opening a new building (especially a large building of 60,000 square feet) is never easy. But 2020 posed even more challenges to the grand opening than anticipated.
Questions of market logistics shifted to shopper, vendor, and staff safety. How can we keep the space running safely? How can we ensure social distancing and create maximum fresh air flow to ventilate the entire space?
The farmers market is pivotal for farmer and food producer sales and community food access in the wintertime. With the closure of many other winter markets for the 2020-2021 season, our team worked hard to make possible the vision for opening our new building, having to adjust dozens of times in order to ensure the safest possible market for the season.
When those doors opened November 7, our team (only allowing a limited number of people inside at one time) watched as the shoppers entered and safely walked through our brand new hallways. We couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride at the sight we had only been able to imagine for so long. The community we work so hard to keep together was there in our space, adhering to the strange new rules we had to enforce, and connecting to the vendors many have come to love over the years.
With the help of shoppers, farmers, food makers, staff and volunteers, we are excited to be able to serve our community this winter market season with essential food access. Thank you for your continued support, even through the hurdles this year has presented to each and every one of us.
Stay safe. Shop local. And eat your veggies.