BLUFFTON — A deadly virus that’s sweeping the country isn’t going to stop some hearty vendors from selling at the Bluffton Farmers Market.
The Bluffton Farmers Market will be in operation beginning at 8:30 a.m. every Saturday through October.
It’s an effort spearheaded by the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce.
The market, located in downtown Bluffton, opened for the season on Saturday with a much different look, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I just want everyone to know that we’re taking all the cautions that are mandated,” said Paula Scott, CEO of the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce. “We’re teaching people today how to follow those guidelines. It’s a big adjustment and there will probably be more adjustments in the future. Today, vendors are requested to wear masks, next week, they will probably, if the state guidelines hold, they will be required to wear masks.”
The shoppers were asked to observe social distancing and many of them were wearing masks.
Shoppers were not allowed to touch products and eating was also prohibited.
People were asked to limit shopping to only one person at a time and only one person per family and they were asked to use hand sanitizer.
Cindy Basinger was selling a variety of flowers and vegetables and lamented that the crowds just weren’t there, like in the past.
“It’s been slow today, said Basinger, who owns Backyard Perennials and Greenhouse from Bluffton. “The Coronavirus fears kept people out maybe I would guess, there’s some of that and also people not knowing that the market is open, even though we’ve done a fair amount of advertising.”
Another vendor, John Smith, who owns John’s Flowers from Columbus Grove, was happy with the sales he made Saturday and he’s OK with wearing a mask and taking all of the other precautions.
“I think it’s a good thing and I think it’s worked out very well today for the people being in line, waiting on the business. I think everybody has been pretty patient,” Smith said.
The feedback Scott has been getting suggests they’re doing the right thing.
“I have heard from a couple of people who don’t want to be here if everyone’s not wearing a mask,” Scott said. “So wearing a mask is good for business.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.