Although smaller businesses are suffering during this time, the Belmont farmers market is prospering as customers continue to buy local produce.
Since the community is eating less at restaurants and more at home, the fresh produce of the farmers market is more appealing and further utilized by the public as a substitute to eating out.
With the need for fresh produce, the Belmont farmers market brings a wide variety of customers and sellers. Kaytee Fink works for her family business that has been selling in farmers markets for over 30 years. At her stand, she sells fresh smoked salmon that is caught along the Pacific Northwest and in Alaska.
For most sellers, being directly involved with the community and selling organic produce is the most enjoyable part of their job.
“It is really refreshing to be a part of something that is a little more down-to-earth and natural, especially in this day and age where salmon is either dyed or farmed,” Fink said.
While Fink enjoys the farmers market natural produce, May Yang, who has been working at farmers markets for over 20 years, likes to see her daughter develop social skills while working at the register.
“My daughter works at the register. It helps her learn customer service, how to talk to people, and develop her mind that will later help her for life. She is learning how to run a business,” Yang said.
Farmers markets all around California have changed their system due to the pandemic.
Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered certified farmers markets an essential business in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association is committed to providing the Bay Area with fresh produce during this pandemic as safely as possible. There have been new regulations to keep everyone safe at markets.
“As you look around, there is a lot more distance between people, no sampling, and less of an opportunity for the people to touch and get to know the produce. During social distancing, the dynamic of being able to contact the food you are choosing and interact with the seller is lost,” Fink said.
Even with these new regulations, the farmers market is busier than ever, as society pursues a supported immune system and healthier diet to fight COVID-19.
“During the pandemic, more people seem to have a healthier appetite in order to sustain a well supported immune system. The farmers market gives direct access to fresh produce that assists the goal of a healthier appetite,” Nadine Lahlouh, a junior, said.
Farmers markets within California strive to provide the best products to support their surrounding communities.