Minneapolis Farmers Market going strong despite slow start

Saturday marks end of National Farmers Market week

Mark Freie
August 08, 2020 - 9:27 am
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Despite smaller crowd sizes the Minneapolis Farmers Market on East Lyndale Avenue continues to push forward amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the pandemic, crowds ranging between 10,000 and 15,000 would flock to the market on weekends to shop for locally grown produce, enjoy some breakfast or lunch, or simply just to get some extra steps in. Those crowds have dwindled down since COVID-19 hit, but Minneapolis Farmers Market manager Mao Lee thinks there's a positive to take from the situation.

"Every weekend I think vendor approaches me and says, 'Hey, we had a handful of customers that came and said this is their first time here and they were so impressed," Lee said.

The make-up of the crowds coming to the market is different, too.

"We've definitely seen a younger crowd, which is what we were hoping to target," Lee said. "You've got the longtime customers who've come for five, ten, or twenty years. Now we have the new crowd coming in who will continue to support the market moving forward."

In April, the farmers market released its plan to safely allow vendors and shoppers to interact with one another. The market has created more space in walking lanes by moving vendor displays back by a foot, shifted walking lanes to one-way traffic, and they've also required all vendors and market staff to wear masks.

Guests are not require to wear masks while shopping outdoors.

Just recently the Minneapolis Farmers Market began reallowing outdoor dining after prohibiting early on in the COVID-19 pandemic.

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