With masks, gloves, sanitizing in place, Flint Farmers’ Market plans phased reopening June 2

The Flint Farmers’ Market, closed to the public since March 28,  is preparing to welcome back customers  9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 2.

At first the market will be open only Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the exception of Thursday, June 4 when it will be closed to allow the market to evaluate  the re-opening procedures from the first trial date.

Curbside pickup will continue to be available 1 to 5  p.m. Saturdays through June, with pre-ordering open online 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays.

A notice from the market said 33 of the 44 indoor vendors will open up their spaces with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines in place.

The additional 11 vendors are planning to join on July 2.

Since the inside of the market closed March 28, just a few outdoor vendors have been selling on Saturdays under the outdoor pavilion.

The market also has offered curbside pick-up service two days a week since March 29,  providing an average of 250 customers a week with fresh produce, baked goods and other groceries.

The gradual re-opening will include ONLY TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS in June from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the exception of Thursday June 4, when it will be closed for re-evaluation of procedures after the first trial date). 

The inside of the market will remain closed on Saturdays in June.  However, the outside pavilion will be open with social distancing guidelines in place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“When re-opening next Tuesday, we will provide a safe experience for all shoppers and for our vendors.  We know how much everyone has missed the market.  We are so thankful to the community and to our customers for supporting our small businesses during this shut down!”  Market Manager Karianne Martus said.

Counter service for vegetables might be returning inside the market. (Photo by Jan Worth-Nelson)

Several crucial changes will be in place

Customers will notice a few changes, including the following, based on CDC guidelines and described in a press release from the market:·

  •  Customers will be asked to wear a mask or face covering upon entering the market to shop.  Grocery workers are among the highest risk category for exposure to Covid – 19, therefore the market is taking all reasonable precautions to protect market workers
  • ·        Customers will be allowed in the market through one door and will exit through another designated door, so that management can keep track of the number of people inside the market at any given time.
  • ·        All vendors will be wearing masks and gloves as required by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Genesee County Health Department.  Vendors will follow ALL rules set forth for safe food preparation and handling. Some vendors will also have plexiglass shields on counters.
  • ·        Samples will not be allowed.
  • ·        There will be no public seating or event spaces open during the month of June.
  • ·        All restrooms will be closed for five minutes at the top of each hour so that market cleaning staff can sanitize the area.
  • ·        Customers will find Purell touchless hand sanitizer stations throughout the market as well as Clorox Wipe dispensers so that they can clean their hands or wipe off product as needed while shopping.

Fresh bread from Crust may be available back inside the Farmers’ Market soon (Photo by Jan Worth-Nelson)

“We are hopeful that by July 2, 2020 the market will be once again open all three days a week with all vendors open and able to greet customers.  Event space rentals and public seating areas will be determined by the State of Michigan guidelines for public gatherings,” Martus said.

More information is available at the market website, www.flintfarmersmarket.com,  or social media pages.  To order online for Saturday curbside pick-up, customers can go to ffmtogo.square.site on Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

–EVM Staff


Author: East Village Magazine

A Non-profit, Community News Magazine Since 1976

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