Drive-thru farmers market prepares to open in Kzoo

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kalamazoo Farmers Market is preparing to open its first-ever drive-thru market this Saturday because of the pandemic.

The new concept is designed to avoid crowded areas, which were common in previous years. 

Market Manager Katelyn Bekken says the drive-thru market will be open every Saturday in May from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Shoppers can place orders over the phone or online from essential vendors. Some sellers will allow call-in orders the same day.

“Since our opening day is postponed until June 6, we were thinking of creative ways to still create access to food in our community. Looking at different markets across the country, we noticed a trend with this drive-thru market,” Bekken said.

If you do not have a vehicle, customers can purchase from a small group of sellers across the street.

“We have one entry on the north side of the market, and we are using the outside perimeter of our market to create a drive,” Bekken said.

Social distancing and other precautions will be taken for customers and vendors.

“We have adopted a lot of new ways of operating,” Bekken said. “All of our vendors and employees are required to wear gloves and masks and sanitize regularly.”

When the farmers market officially reopens in June, additional procedures will be put in place to prevent overcrowding.

“Customers will not be able to touch items. It’s more like a point and ask type thing,” Bekken said.

For a list of participating vendors and how to order, visit the Kalamazoo Farmers Market website.

More information about how other farmers markets in West Michigan plan to operate can be found online.