GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland and Washington Park Farmers Markets will converge to launch an online market to continue supporting vendors and the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Orders can be placed on the Guilderland Farmer’s Market website at www.guilderlandfarmersmarket.com and click “Online Market.” Curbside pickup will be available at Star Plaza at the corner of Route 155 and Western Avenue every Sunday at 12 noon, starting on April 26. Customers are encouraged to stay in their vehicles and their orders will be delivered to them.
Scott Abraham, the owner and creator of the two farmers markets, said he became inspired to launch the online market after hearing that many local mom-and-pop stores were closing down recently. He wanted to give an outlet for them and his markets’ vendors to continue selling during the pandemic. “I also saw a need because there are seniors who don’t want to go to grocery stores and that groceries deliveries are overwhelmed,” he added.
He said he is heading the online market and is slowly getting up to speed. “There are many steps involved and I’ve been reaching out to vendors and getting them online,” he said, bringing up how he already has at least 10 confirmed vendors and is working to bring in at least six more this week. “I know people are stressing out now and worrying about when their next paycheck comes. As long as I give them another avenue, it’s worth all the time to do this.”
As of Friday, April 17, participating vendors include Magic Forest Farms, Caffe Italia, Slingerland Family Farm, Sunshine Catering, Wild Hill Maple and Greener Pastures. Abraham noted, though, that the vendors are not just food-oriented and he’s encouraging artists, crafters, farmers and distilleries to join in.
If interested in becoming a vendor, contact Abraham at 949-973-8785 or [email protected]
The online market and curbside delivery help to maintain social distancing and Abraham said it is only available for people with vehicles for now — people cannot just walk or bike to the pickup location to line up. Abraham also said he’s looking into delivering orders to a local senior community but did not offer more details as those plans are preliminary.
“If I find out there’s a need for people that don’t have a car, that would be something I may look into and figure out a way for people without cars to take advantage of this too,” he said.
The Guilderland Farmers Market opened in 2018, followed by the Washington Park one in 2019. Abraham revealed he had originally planned on establishing an online market with curbside pickup for the former market because numerous senior residents said perusing through the markets “was a long way to walk and too spread out. So I had the idea of an online market on the back burner and it’s always something I wanted to do a bit but now, it’s a good time to start it.”
He said that the online market will happen every Sunday starting April 26 with no set end date. Also, depending on the pandemic’s ongoing nature, the Guilderland and Washington Park Farmers Markets are still scheduled to open — the former happening every Sunday from July to the second Sunday in October and the latter is every Saturday from August to September.
“I’m going to try to continue curbside pickup for the online market even when our two markets start up in summer,” Abraham said. “I know there’ll be people who don’t want to be around other people and I’ll keep it going if they need it.”