By Brandon Martin
The Uptown Martinsville Farmers’ Market is now open for on-site shopping, but pre-orders are still encouraged.
Kimberly Keller, Uptown Entrepreneurial Development manager for the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, said that the market has seen an increase in customers now that they have been allowing on-site shopping.
While the vendors do get a few more sales due to the on-site shopping, Keller said that the pre-ordering allows the vendors to plan better, have everything packaged and ready to go when the customer arrives.
As part of the new rules for on-site shopping, each vendor is required to wear a face-covering and sanitize their hands between transactions. Customers are expected to also wear a face covering and sanitize their hands often as well.
Keller said that all of the vendors have been “very receptive” of the new requirements.
The layout also has changed to allow for more social distancing.
Market tables were rearranged, and white tape is used on the ground to designate six feet of distancing between each customer. A portion of the parking lot is blocked off for customer safety. Handicapped and limited regular parking is available in the market parking lot. The New College Institute’s parking lot can be used if additional parking is needed.
“We do still want to stress pre-ordering online, but the site is safe and we encourage people to come out and shop, as long as they can adhere to the guidelines,” Keller said.
Sponsors of the market are: Martin Plaza Furniture Outlet, URW Community Federal Credit Union, New College Institute, Sovah Health – Martinsville, Denture Express of Martinsville and VisitMartinsville.