With social distancing guidelines in effect, a popular farmer’s market in Fauquier County, Virginia, decided to make its opening day a drive-thru event, encouraging people to stay apart during the coronavirus outbreak.
It went better than expected.
More than 350 cars lined up to buy produce from the farmer’s market in Warrenton, as its opening day transitioned from customers walking through to driving through.
“What we did was take our vendors and use a series of the town’s parking lots to put the vendors in a kind of drive-thru model,” said Warrenton Town Manager Brandie Schaeffer.
The market encouraged pre-orders and set up a website with links to all the vendors, along with their phone numbers. They usually see around 500 customers at each market, but Schaeffer said they weren’t sure if people would show up to drive-thru.
She was pleasantly surprised when the line of cars showed up for their 45th opening day.
“I think everyone was just excited to also just kind of get out. We’re looking at each other through masks and talking from a social distance perspective but it was also just nice to see our residents and to see our vendors and just to have a chance to even wave and pick up your produce along the way so I think it was a much needed thing for our community,” Schaeffer said.
They’re taking it week by week, but plan on having the farmer’s market every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.
“The farmers market is one of those things that our residents love and they love walking down there and interacting, but there is always the other side of it, which is we are a rural agricultural community so supporting our local farmers is very important to us,” Schaeffer said.
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