Skip's Farmers Market opens for season with restrictions
NEW BUFFALO, Mich. -- Skip’s European Farmers Market is kicking off their season this weekend, but have had to make many changes to comply with Michigan’s guidelines regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
During a normal year, Skip’s entire lot would be filled with live music, dining tables, games, and vendors selling produce or art. There won’t be any of that for the time being, as the market shifts to a pick-up style.
Skip’s owners have participated in webinars with the Michigan Department of Agriculture to learn what regulations would be in place once they can open.
Those include operating at half-capacity, having one entrance and exit, and encouraging customers to treat this as an order pick-up rather than an all day experience.
Then, Skip’s met with their vendors to see if they’d still want to participate this weekend given the restrictions. All of their farmers, who’s busiest time of the year has been put on hold, said they didn’t want to wait any longer.
“These vendors are so fiercely loyal to Skip’s. They call themselves Skip’s family and that’s what we are,” said Rhonda Sobecki, a partner at Skip’s Restaurant, “And these farmers who have been in their greenhouses, planting January and February to get ready for the season and then all of a sudden everything shuts down on them. They need an outlet to sell their products - the food producers, the farmers, this is how they survive.”
Vendors will also be able to sell plant products but artisans and jewelry makers are not yet allowed to set up shop.