The New Normal Market, Part 2.

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

The times they are a' challenging. As foodpreneurs you've already got this creative thing down pat. Now it's about putting that creativity to real work. Lemonade, lemons, and all that will define if you sink or swim. Let's swim.

What next.

F&E announced plans to launch a multi-vendor online marketplace in late March. We are on our way to that end. Sellers will on-board soon, and customers will arrive right after that. In the meantime, let's talk about new trends and current opportunities.

In-Person Markets

Well. We've mixed feelings about this. I would guess you do, too. Time spent in the vicinity of others is unavoidable in this scenario, and troublesome in every other. As people who take hygiene, public health and liabilities very seriously - we have to admit we are challenged by the idea of in-person markets. Indeed, they are allowable and protected by the Governor of MN as essential, but still. We've been watching other markets carefully, and are aware of best practices. We know we can evolve to better protect vendor and customer health and well being.

A few new realities for anyone planning to attend a farmers' market:

  • Markets for the foreseeable future will probably not be hosting vendors that offer immediate consumables. Grab-n-go, take-n-bake, frozen prepared foods - we think so. Foods that encourage customers to linger - we think no.

  • Sampling, no. Common sense, right?

  • Handwashing station for each and every vendor. No sharing. No excuses. They are required. The set up must be correct and they must be used after each and every customer. Read about it here >>

  • Markets will be providing handwashing stations for customers.

  • Vendors will be spaced in such a way as to limit interaction with each other and customers.

  • No programming of any kind. No cooking demos, etc. No music.

  • No kids crafting.

  • No customer seating.

  • No cash.

  • We foresee lines as being problematic. Thus, vendors must be prepared to take pre-orders and be efficient in their transactions.

  • Face masks, gloves.

Other things we are learning and considering.

  • All food will have to be packaged, and/or merchandised in such a way as customers can no longer help themselves.

  • We foresee lines as being problematic. Thus, vendors must be prepared to take pre-orders and be efficient in their transactions.

  • Fewer vendors. Shorter market hours.

  • Holiday markets. Will be tough.

  • Pick up whereby customers don't leave their cars.

  • Pick up for vendors on alternate days - thus spreading the market over several days and across several blocks. Lessening concentrations of customers and/or vendor stalls.

  • All sales to occur online in advance of market days.

  • More restrooms, perhaps.

  • There will be more. There always is.

How do you foresee the season changing?

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