(BLOOMINGTON) – The Market, with thoughtful planning and guidance from the Monroe County Health Department, is moving toward reopening by permitting on-site sales in addition to online order pick-ups from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Saturday’s Market at Showers Common, 401 N. Morton St. in Bloomington.
Online ordering from Farmers’ Market vendors began in April, due to COVID-19 safety restrictions that did not allow for the traditional opening of the Market. The Farmers’ Market moved from a drive-through to a walk-through, in-person pick up of pre-ordered products in May. COVID-19 prevention protocols remain in place as the Market begins to allow vendors to sell food and farm products on site.
As the Farmers’ Market continues to support local farmers and growers, and small businesses, safety remains a priority. All Market vendors are required to wear face masks and gloves, and the use of both is recommended for Market shoppers. Foot traffic through the Farmers’ Market is one-way only, with the direction of travel clearly marked with white arrows on the asphalt.
There are two entrances to the Market area where the vendors are set up, and both entrances as well as the single Market exit are located on Showers Plaza in front of the main entrance of City Hall. One entrance is for people who place orders online, and the second entrance is for walk-up customers. Those who place online orders have priority entrance into the Market. A maximum 75 people are permitted in the Market at any given time.
Vendors must display their products for sale on site out of reach of Market customers. Purchased items are transferred from sellers to buyers who are physically distanced across a sanitized tabletop. Individual Market vendors will accept payment methods that work best for their businesses; some will utilize touch-free methods such as credit cards, Google Pay, and Apple Pay, while others may accept cash with safety measures in place to limit contact. Shoppers who plan to purchase products on-site should have exact change in the form of small bills and a variety of ways to pay for Market items.
The online store
at https://bloomingtonfarmersmarket.localfoodmarketplace.com/ opens Tuesday at 6 a.m. Online orders will be accepted, and may be changed, through 11:59 p.m. Thursday. Online orders are paid for online, so shoppers need only check-in at the info tent upon arrival at Market and receive a receipt for all their pre-ordered product, then go from vendor to vendor to pick up the pre-packaged orders.
Saturday’s Farmers’ Market is set up differently than in seasons past, with vendors arranged in alphabetical order. Although the Farmers’ Market is known for its social aspect for opportunities to meet and mingle, shoppers are asked to move quickly through the Market and not linger to chat or browse, to allow ample opportunity for physical distancing and to ensure manageable wait times for shoppers waiting to enter the Market.
To minimize crowd size manage physical distancing, the Market in June will not offer live entertainment, food or beverage that is intended to be consumed on site, or representation by community organizations at Information Alley.
Free, two-hour parking is available on Saturdays at metered spaces on the streets surrounding the Farmers’ Market. Free parking is also available in Showers Red Permit spaces, and in the “IU-EMS” lot across Morton Street from City Hall.
For online customers, in order to balance customer traffic through the day, we’ve been assigning times for pick up based on the customers last name. This is to be used as a guide. If you can’t come in your assigned time slot, please, still come. We will not turn you away.
For Saturday, June 6, the process will be as follows:
- The online store opened for shopping today, Tuesday, June 2 at 6 a.m. and will remain open until we receive 1,000 customer orders, or until Thursday, June 4 at 11:59 p.m.
- Pick up takes place Saturday, June 6 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Showers Common, 401 N. Morton St., with pick up times based on the first initial of your last name with the following the schedule as a guide:
- 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Pickup for last names beginning with A-Be
- 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Pickup for last names beginning with Bf-Bz
- 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Pickup for last names beginning with C-D
- 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Pickup for last names beginning with E-G
- 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Pickup for last names beginning with H-J
- 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Pickup for last names beginning with K-L
- 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Pickup for last names beginning with M-O
- 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pickup for last names beginning with P-R
- 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pickup for last names beginning with S
- 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Pickup for last names beginning with T-Z
- SNAP customers, you may continue to use your EBT cards for the Double Market Bucks program. If you shop both online and on-site, you will need to choose between doubling your online purchase or doubling the purchase of “Market Bucks”, the vouchers used to make purchases onsite. If you use the online form to place food orders, check the “SNAP customer” box at check out. Bring your EBT card to Market on Saturday, and redeem your SNAP benefits for Double Market Bucks on site at the designated table by the Market entrance.
For up-to-date information about participating vendors, visit the online store. More information is also available on the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market website or by sending an email to email@example.com.