Month: August 2020
Market FAQ: An August update to help you plan your visit.
We always want you to feel welcome and comfortable when shopping the market. We have recently heard questions and concerns from shoppers who wonder how the market is working at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a short list of timely Frequently Asked Questions to help you plan your visit.
Q: Does the market have special hours reserved for seniors and those with health concerns in light of COVID-19?
A: Early in the season, we asked shoppers to reserve 3:00-3:30 for our senior guests. We are no longer doing so. This isn’t out of disrespect or lack of care for those of you who are 55+ or immune-compromised. We simply don’t have the ability hold back the large number of shoppers who arrive between 2:45 and 3:30. We appreciate that YOU are reading this Q and A, but many shoppers just stop by when they see the signs around town. We don’t have enough space or staff to make them line up and wait until 3:30 without creating a traffic hazard. The market is much quieter between 5 and 7 and selection is still very good. If you like a less crowded atmosphere, please attend later!
Q: Are masks required?
A: Per MN Executive Order 20-81, all workers in the market are required to wear masks unless they fall into a medical exemption category. If a vendor is not wearing a mask, you can assume that they are exempt and that market management is aware of the fact. Customers are strongly encouraged to wear masks but it is not a requirement under current state or city laws. As such, we cannot require shoppers to wear them.
Q: When does the market open?
A: Customers are welcome to enter the market after 2:40 but sales do not begin until 3:00, when we sound an opening horn. NOTE: We routinely sound the horn 3-5 minutes early.
Q: Are children allowed in the market?
A: The market has always been a very family-friendly place and we cherish kids of all ages. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful to families who can send just one or two people to do the family shopping for the week. This helps us to stay under our 250-person maximum customer capacity. However, we are not denying admission to families with children. We ask that families keep their children close by and move through the market as a unit.
We know that these times are unsettling and that shopping can be nerve-wracking. We want you to have all the information you need to plan your trip. Please visit our web site at www.maplegrovefarmersmarket.com for a complete and up-to-date list of our COVID-19 response strategies. Note that we are working carefully with state and city governments and Hennepin County Health Inspectors to comply with all relevant laws.
We also respectfully request your patience and kindness as we’re doing our best to stay open for our growers, food makers, and the community. I hope you will reach out to me directly at market or between markets to express your concerns. Remember, many of the people stationed at the market entrance are volunteers and hourly staff members working to serve you.
Thank you! Eat well this weekend!
Kirsten Bansen Weigle
PS–Have you noticed the beautiful chalk art by our volunteer Ruby? Isn’t she talented?
Cash, Credit…or Tokens?
Paper or plastic? Nope, I’m not talking about the type of bag you’d like for your groceries. I am taking about the paper or plastic in your wallet. One more the most commonly asked questions at the market is, “How do I pay?”
All vendors at the Farmers Market accept cash, some accept credit cards, and they all accept our unique market currency, wooden tokens. If you forgot to bring your cash or you need a little more money to spend at the market, you can visit our Farmers Market Cashier, Sue, at Market Info and swipe your debit or credit card to purchase tokens that work just like cash in the market.
Each token comes in five-dollar increments and there is a twenty-dollar minimum to swipe your card (Don’t worry, there are no fees!). The tokens never expire, so if you do not use them all in one visit, bring them back with you the next time you shop the market. Pro tip: I like to keep them in my wallet’s coin purse. They fit perfectly and never get lost in a pocket or washing machine!
Once you’ve purchased your tokens, you can spend them just like cash in the market. For example, if you are using one of the five-dollar tokens to purchase a three-dollar item from a vendor, you will receive two-dollars cash back for your transaction.
You can visit our team at the Market Info booth to purchase tokens. You can find us about halfway up the north side of the market, just past the entrance. See you Thursday!