MARQUETTE — After delaying the originally planned opening for the season, the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market launched an online marketplace this week.
The online marketplace offers a variety of items consumers can choose from virtually, in order to prevent the spread of COVID–19. While this is a big change for the Farmers Market, more vendors are able to offer their products this way than if the marketplace were to go on in person with social distancing guidelines.
Market Manager Sara Johnson says organizers wanted to make sure people were still able to safely access quality foods during the pandemic, and this virtual marketplace allows them to do just that.
“Providing food during our community during a health crisis is essential, and we wanted to make sure that we had a way to do that in a safe way,” said Johnson. “So you have to pre-place an order online; there is an ordering period that starts every week. It starts noon on Sunday and ends Wednesday at midnight, and then you can pick up your order on Saturday mornings at the Marquette Commons.”
Making sure the Farmers Market could take place this year despite the challenges was crucial for staff members. The marketplace is an essential part of the season each year for both consumers and for vendors who rely on the income.
“We want to make sure that our community has access to food—local food that is nutrient rich and dense, more so than other types of foods that may be harvested and shipped a good distance before going to the grocery store and coming into your hand,” said Johnson. “But also we wanted to make sure that our vendors who depend on the market to make a livelihood still had an outlet to do so.”
Johnson would like to remind consumers that items must be ordered ahead of time, and that the Saturday market is only open for pickup of online orders.
For more details or to place an order, visit mqtfarmersmarket.com.