Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Williamsburg Farmers Market creates delivery service to fill gap during the pandemic

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

For those who are missing their locally grown fresh vegetables, the Williamsburg Farmers Market is now bringing them to customers doors.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Williamsburg Farmers Market has been unable to host physical markets since the beginning of March. This comes as the Virginia Farmers Market Association continues to enact strict protocols for markets across the state to prevent the spread of the virus. 

While the guidelines allow for markets to be physically open with strict limitations, the association asked markets and vendors to encourage online ordering as much as possible, according to a news release on the association’s website.

As a result, the market has taken to a delivery service to reach the community, according to the market’s website.

Customers have until Tuesday at midnight each week to place and pay for orders that will be available for delivery — or pick up — on Friday. A team member with the market will deliver the order to individual homes between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. every Friday. Team members will be wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves and will be washing their hands in between deliveries.

Customers will be contacted on Friday for deliveries with an email indicating their delivery window. Customers should leave a cooler out by their door if they ordered items that requires refrigeration

To order alcoholic beverages, customers should also place their ID by the cooler or on their door

Delivery is free to residents in Williamsburg and James City County.

Customers also have the option to pick up their orders. When picking up an order, customers should text the market at 757-259-3768 when they are on their way.

Once arriving at The Messmer Historic Triangle Center, 312 Waller Mill Road, customers should write their name on a piece of paper and place it in their dashboard and orders will be brought directly to the their vehicle and placed in the trunk. Orders can be picked up between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Fridays.

While the new online market doesn’t feature all of the vendors who typically come to the physical events, it does have more than two dozen vendors selling products from strawberries to nut butter.

According to a Facebook post from the market in April, space at the Messmer Historic Triangle Community Center has been made available for market workers to put together orders.

While the new online market has been operating for nearly a month, the concept has grown quickly in popularity. In its first week, the online market only had 40 orders. That grew the following week to 297, according to a post from the organization.

The Williamsburg Farmers Market has also been working to help the community by donating bags of food. When the virus first came to the area in mid-March, the market worked with the city of Williamsburg to donate thousands of dollars worth of produce, eggs and bread that were given to residents considered at risk of food shortages.  

The market has also taken to social media to spread messages and provide information regarding vendors’ products and community support. It posted in April about the generosity of its staff and volunteers who have created the new delivery driver team.

“We hope to continue to keep farmers farming, bakers baking, and watermen on the water,” the market posted online. “The vendors are so very grateful to the community for their continued support!”

For more information, visit the Williamsburg Farmers Market online.

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Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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