Gresham: Marketing at a distance
Though things looked a little different because of the global pandemic, the Gresham Farmers Market had a successful opening to the 2020 season.
Vendors and visitors went out of their way to promote safety during the Saturday, May 2, opening. From masks and gloves to protective screens and hand sanitizer, the market was able to balance social distancing while supporting local businesses that rely on sales from the weekly gathering in downtown Gresham.
"I want to thank the folks who came out in the pouring rain to support their local farms and small/micro businesses," said Jon Berlin, Gresham Farmers Market manager. "They depend on the market to survive."
There were many of the vendors that customers have come to expect at the market, located at the Gresham Center for the Arts Plaza along Northeast Third Street and Northeast Hood Avenue, just with fewer booths to maintain a safe distance.
There were gorgeous bouquets of flowers, fresh produce, piping hot donuts, craft beer and more. In total, the market had about 30 vendors on opening day.
COVID-19 guidelines at the market include only one person per household shopping, and a request to limit socializing within the market space. Signs throughout asked people to maintain 6 feet of distance, wear masks and avoid touching products. Visitors are also being asked to leave dogs at home during the duration of social distancing orders.
John Hasbrouck, with Sandy's Just A Distillery, gave out hand sanitizer made from the by-product of his popular rum. Other vendors went out of their way to work with customers and make things go as smoothly as possible.
The Gresham Farmers Market runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday through October. Organizers will continue implementing novel coronavirus safety measures until it is deemed acceptable to return to normal.
"This week we expect a much larger crowd and want to share the importance of wearing your personal protective gear along with social distancing," Berlin said.
The Gresham Farmers Market was first established in 1986, and originally ran in the parking lot of Gresham City Hall. From 1999-2018 the market was held in a downtown parking lot, before settling in its new permanent home at the Arts Plaza.
Learn more about the market at greshamfarmersmarket.com
"We love each and every one of you," Berlin said, thankful of the people who support the market. "Nothing would make us happier at the market than to see you again once this is all over."
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.