With plans of returning on May 30th, the Cranbrook Farmer’s Market will begin its spring season with a new manager and some big changes.
Jessica Kazemi is currently training to take on her new role as market manager ahead of the upcoming season, she said that her past experience on Vancouver Island will be useful going into her new role.
“I’ve worked in organic produce before. On the island, I was the general manager of a farmer’s based organic produce delivery service, so I have experience working with farmers in that capacity, and I think it will translate well into the farmers’ market,” said Kazemi.
Although the market intends to continue as planned, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought some unique challenges.
“Since we’re going to be a food-only market this year, we’re going to try getting as many interesting food vendors as we can, and talk to all the food trucks in the area to come out,” said Kazemi. “We’ll be building that up and making sure everyone has access to our local produce and all of the amazing things that our community is able to turn out.”
Kazemi added that some amenities will not be offered at markets this year, such as live music, and people will be discouraged from spending too much time there, as the number of people allowed in will be limited. Physical distancing guidelines will be adhered to, with designated entrances and exits, more space between vendors and handwashing stations.
In order to adapt to the market only selling food this year, an online store has been launched so local artisans won’t miss out on selling their goods as well. Customers wanting to buy from artisans can arrange for a delivery or a meetup at the market.
“This is our first go in the online world, so we’re setting up our market through a company called Local Line. We have gotten started, we have a few vendors up and going and we’re adding every day, so you’ll be able to shop our online products, and if you want to meet the artisan in person at the market, you can, or they’re offering delivery options, depending on the service that you’re looking for,” explained Kazemi.
Despite the restrictions being put in place, Kazemi feels optimistic about her new role as manager for the Farmers’ Market.
“I’ve got some big shoes to fill, Livia Lara has done an amazing job. I’m just trying to learn as much as I can and hopefully do the market justice. It’s been an amazing service for the community, and I hope to continue that on as well as we can during this situation.”