Farm Markets Continue to Serve during Coronavirus



Click here to see list of operating farmers markets

Birds chirping, pollen-covered cars, warmer temperatures and weekend trips to the farmers market are all signs of spring. With coronavirus disrupting our regular springtime routines, maintaining a sense of normalcy can be challenging.

While Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, along with leaders in the rest of the country, issued bans on businesses serving 10 or more people at a time, obtaining food, beverages, goods or services is still permitted. Many restaurants and other local businesses have transitioned to offer carryout or curbside pick-up options. Coastal Virginia’s farmers markets are no exception.

Under the governor’s Executive Order 53, farmers markets are allowed to remain open so long as they follow the guidelines and protocols in place, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Several farmers markets in the region have decided to remain open and transition in order to supply customers with fresh goods while supporting local farmers. You can purchase everything from seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh baked goods, snacks, farm-raised meat, locally caught seafood and much more at markets in the region.

The Old Beach Farmers Market in Virginia Beach has been operating a drive-thru market on Saturdays, in the parking lot behind Croc’s 19th Street Bistro, amid the progression of COVID-19.

Old Beach Farmers Market drive-thru market 

Photo courtesy of Old Beach Farmers Market

“We were brainstorming on what we can do to keep these small businesses and farmers afloat, while flattening the curve at the same time,” said Lori Golding Zontini, executive director of the Old Beach Farmers Market.

Shoppers are now able to place orders with local vendors, pay online then drive to their local farmers market to pick up their purchases. The Williamsburg Farmers Market even offers delivery to residents within the city of Williamsburg and James City County.

“Farmers did not plan for coronavirus,” Zontini said. “They planned to grow spring and summer crops. If they don’t have anyone to sell to, all those crops go to waste. It’s important to keep buying from your local farmers and know where your food is coming from.”

It’s not just seasonal farmers markets looking to serve the community during COVID-19. Pop-up markets have also emerged around the country, including one at The Shack on 8th Street in Virginia Beach. Utilizing the venue’s indoor space, The Shack has opened a pop-up grocery store for people to purchase products from local vendors.

The idea stemmed from Mike and Mariah Standing, owners of The Shack and other Oceanfront establishments. The couple wanted to provide their nearly 300 employees with more opportunities for work, while also servicing the community’s need for a clean and comfortable shopping experience. Items at The Shack’s Grocery Market range from meat and seafood to produce, milk and cheese, as well as prepared foods, desserts, beer, wine, cleaning supplies and the highly sought-after toilet paper.

The Shack Grocery MarketThe Shack Grocery Market seafood

Photos courtesy of The Shack on 8th

“If someone is going to spend a lot of time at home, as opposed to going out to restaurants, it’s nice to have comfort food for people to look forward to,” said Mike Standing.

Shopping with local vendors at these markets also limits how many other people are interacting with your food before you buy it, which is more important than ever in a time like this. The idea of community and local support is also critical right now, and these local markets are demonstrating how important small businesses are to our economy and lifestyle.

“Everyone is just working together to get our country back together,” Standing said.

 

Coastal Virginia Farmers Markets

Below is a list of local farmers markets in the area that are open and what services are available from them. This list will be updated as more information becomes available.

 

Chesapeake

Hickory Ridge Farm

Offering grab bags of fresh fruits and vegetables for $24.60. Cash, card, and Apple and Samsung pay are accepted. Purchased items will be placed in your trunk upon arrival. 

Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday, Noon–4 p.m.

2928 Battlefield Blvd., Chesapeake

 

Gloucester 

Ware Neck Produce

The market is open to shoppers, with a 10-person limit inside. Curbside is availble when you place your order on Facebook or over the phone.

Monday–Saturday, 8 a.m.–6:30 p.m.

6682 Main St., Gloucester

 

Hampton

Buckroe Beach Farmers Market

Plans are in place for when the market opens on May 2. Items can be pre ordered for pick up on market days.

Saturdays, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

100 S. 1st Street, Hampton

 

Newport News

Dean & Don’s Farm Market

Call in your orders and pick them up curbside at the market.

Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.

12601 Warwick Blvd., Newport News

 

Norfolk

East Beach Farmers Market

All items must be ordered and paid for in advance, by phone or online. When you arrive to the market, vendors will load your pre-packaged orders.

Saturdays, 9–11 a.m.

22nd Bay Street, Norfolk


Harvest Market at O’Connor Brewing Co.

All items must be ordered and paid for in advance, by phone or online. When you arrive to the market, vendors will load your pre-packaged orders.

Sundays, Noon–2 p.m.

211 W 24th Street, Norfolk

 

Smithfield

Smithfield Farmers Market

Find a list of registered market vendors on Facebook to place orders and pick-ups online.

 

Suffolk

Bennett’s Creek Farm Market & Deli

Customers are able to shop regularly here. The staff is taking extra cleaning precautions for customer safety. Curbside pickup is also available.

Monday–Saturday, 7:30 a.m.–7 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

3881 Bridge Road, Suffolk

 

Virginia Beach

B&L Farm Market

Call in your order and pay for it in advance. Pick up or delivery available. On-site purchasing is also available from items on the display wagon.

Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

1065 First Colonial Road, Virginia Beach


Old Beach Farmers Market

Find menus from each vendor on Facebook and preorder your purchases online. Drive through the market to pick up your orders.

Saturday, 9 a.m.–noon

620 19th Street, Virginia Beach


Shore Drive Farm Market

Customers are encouraged to order directly from vendors in advance, then drive through the market for pick-ups.

Saturdays, 9 a.m.–noon

2947 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach


The Shack’s Grocery Market

Shop in-person at the indoor market, following the healthy and safety guidelines in place. No more than 10 people inside at a time. Or, place your order online and have it ready within 10–15 minutes for curbside pick-up.

Daily, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

712 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach

 

Williamsburg

Williamsburg Farmers Market

Choose from participating vendors and place your order online. Orders can be placed until Wednesday, then delivered on Friday between 2–6 p.m. If you’re outside of the City of Williamsburg and James City County, you can pick up your orders from a designated location.

 

Yorktown

Yorktown Market Days

The market will operate a cashless, drive-thru model when it opens on Saturday, April 25. Preorder your items and pay in advance through the vendors' websites and social media items. On market days, purchased items will be loaded into the driver-side window, back seat or trunk.

Saturdays, 8–11 a.m.

412 Sports Way, Yorktown

Add your comment: