The Pivot: moving online

Posted by Chris Penton on

Three weeks ago (today is May 3) I decided to move the Beechwood Market online for the 2020 season.

The Province has deemed farmers markets essential services. We are technically allowed to open up – business as usual – as long as we enforce the well-known rules. Truthfully, I find the Province's choice a bit suspect. A possible recipe for a second wave of COVID, I would have moral difficulty opening up every Saturday. I picture my blood pressure rising a dozen points, as I frantically run around with a custom made 6 foot stick, begging people to stay away from each other. Hard to blame customers; they come to the Beechwood Market to mingle, chat with vendors, taste honey, watch their kids play on the jungle gym and enjoy the chill we have all created together. 

Any way you paint it, the experience you seek in a visit to the Beechwood Market has been shattered for this season. Sitting areas, tasters, the Community Table and music would not appear. The play structure, basketball court, ping pong tables and pool would all be out of bounds. The washrooms would even be off limits!

There would also have to be extraordinary measures put in place. The entire park would be roped off, customer numbers would be limited, resulting in a line up snaking its way out of the park. One way circulation would be mandatory and in order to avoid pinch points, interaction with vendors would be next to nil. Produce could not be handled and reusable bags would be forbidden.

So, instead we will take the giant step of reviving our Shopify powered Online Market. You may remember we tried this out three years ago. My ego permits me to admit that that experiment failed. I never imagined these would be the circumstances under which we would see the resurgence of the Online Market.

The process is like so many others. Select your produce, baking, honey, prepped meals etc., make a secure payment, then choose a thirty minute window in which to pick up your items. Head down to Optimiste Park and safely pick up your order.

As per City mandate, we are not to encourage the use of the park.

Once we have figured out this step, we will look at home delivery. Please watch our feeds for updates. As we all know, things change quickly in our new reality.

Rest assured that if the possibility of an on-site market for 2020 becomes safe, sensible and permitted, we’ll jump on it.

A massive shift for all the vendors and yourselves, cancelling was never a consideration. See you soon.


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