The chairperson of the Barrie Farmers Market has been working with vendors for the past six weeks on how the upcoming season will play out in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shane Van Casteren told Barrie 360 the protocol to start the season on May 23 will not be what people are used to but in line with physical distancing rules.
People will be able order online or have the option of walk-up or drive-through pick-up.
Van Casteren said people can begin to place orders on May 11 and the first day of pick-up will be May 16, even though the market ad mentions May 23 as the season launch, because not all vendors will be online by the middle of the month.
In the past, the market has had about 60-70 vendors and Van Casteren said there will likely be 30-35 vendors–food and garden– who will open the season using the online system.
He appreciates the market is a social gathering for people, with a strong core of users from the condos downtown and people with mobility issues that can’t get to a grocery store.
Using the market’s Local Line account, Van Casteren said people will be able to pay through the website and vendors will be able to keep track of what they have sold.
The market operates on Mulcaster Street at City Hall on Saturday’s and that is where the drive-through pick-up will start. The walk-up line will also be available and customers are encouraged to maintain physical distancing.
Van Casteren can’t predict if this is how the market will operate through the summer, though with a loosening of restrictions taking place, he is confident things are going to get better rather than worse.