APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) After several conversations with Appleton’s health department, Jennifer Stephany, Executive Director at Downtown Appleton Inc. thought reopening the farm market, without serving hot food and encouraging safety measures, would be beneficial to the community and vendors.
Stephany says, “One of the things that kept coming up was the importance of being able to access fresh local food, and to do it in an outdoor open area really is a benefit as well.”
Wisconsin kept farm markets open during the pandemic because they were considered essential but for vendors this business is crucial.
Pamela Pillar is a vendor and owns Your Favorite Concessions and says, “We’ve had to kind of shift a little bit more a lot of events because they’ve been canceled. We’ve done more of these types of events where its farm market.”
Rick Slager is a vendor and owns Produce with Purpose and says, “It’s incredibly important for one we depend on the sales of our produce because a lot of what we sell is perishable and so we have to move it in a certain period of time.”
There a limited amount of shoppers since COVID-19 has thinned out the crowds.
Sephany says, “We’re definitely experiencing lower volume of traffic in terms of customers to the farm market given our current situation. We’ve seen half probably less than half coming to market.”
This pandemic has not only increased the public’s health awareness but also vendor sales.
Slager says, “Our business, since the beginning of March, has just gone crazy and so we just quadrupled our sales.”
This jump in profits is because vendors are connecting with their buyers in different ways.
Slager says, “We sell a thing called build-a-box online and our CSA program which stands for Community Support Agriculture had a huge demand. We had to cut it off because we could only handle so many people.”
Pillar says, “We’re going to more online and doing packaging, gifts and we’re partnering with other companies to add crackers, cheese, meats in addition to our nuts.”
The Appleton farm market continues through October 31.