For immediate release – June 2, 2020
At the same time as provincial retail measures have been opening across the province, the St. Jacobs Farmers Market has been working closely in the interim with Region of Waterloo Public Health, as well as alongside the Kitchener Market and Cambridge Farmers Markets, to establish acceptable new procedures and protocols for re-opening local food markets. (markets have been identified by the province as essential services similar to grocery stores)
“We have put together this detailed plan for re-opening with our vendors, customers and staff as our highest priority and in direct consultation with Waterloo Region public health department officials” said Leanne McGray, Manager of the St. Jacobs Farmers Market. “At this unprecedented time more than ever the opportunity of being able to support local farmers and vendors, to be able to buy fresh, high quality and local products has been clearly valued and our customers are very excited to be able to once again buy local” she added.
The St. Jacobs Farmers Market has valued the collaboration with our colleagues at both the Kitchener Farmers Market and Cambridge Farmers Market in developing re-opening plans.
The first phase of the re-opening Of St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market will be staggered with only the outdoor market and the lower level only of the main Market building open for produce and food (bread, meats, packaged “grocery items”) and does not include the fast food or general retail vendors at this time.
The outdoor market will re-open this Thursday June 4th and both the outdoor as well as the indoor main market building lower level will be open Saturday June 6th. Hours of operation are 7am open to 3:30pm closing.
The Market Road Antiques building will be open on the west side of Weber Street across from the Farmers Market. The vintage collectibles and antique store is open everyday from 10am to 6pm.
Property and Facilities Manager Andrew Del Net has overseen the additional safety measures put in place to facilitate the phase re-opening of St. Jacobs Market District businesses in accordance with applicable guidelines and best practices. “These measures include a fence around the perimeter of the outdoor farmers’ market area of 3.6 acres to allow for a controlled entry point and customer management to meet social distance requirements,” said Del Net. Hand sanitization stations, separate tables for transactions with vendors and food, removal of seating areas are just a few of the other changes you will note”, he added.
The following are the additional measures we have put in place in order to ensure a safe working environment for staff, vendors and customers.
- Enhanced cleaning policies and procedures are in place with an increase in frequency of cleaning and sanitizing particularly with a focus on high touch surfaces using disinfecting/cleaning products as approved by Health Canada and Region of Waterloo Public Health
- Both the outdoor market and Market building entrances have controlled customer access points, each with its own queuing line, so as to monitor total customer counts within each area
- Signage and distancing decals are posted throughout the property and Market building to encourage social distancing
- Plexi barriers installed at indoor vendor booths
- Additional hand sanitation stations will be setup both inside and outside for public use
- Detailed re-open documents outlining what is required and recommended of vendors have been provided to vendors
As per Public Health regulations/recommendations there will be no fast food/coffee vendors open for consumption on site as part of the Phase one re-opening.
“The message to our customers is we look forward to your attendance, however please expect a different market shopping experience. The purpose of the Market at this time is to provide our community with access to safe and reliable foods”, said Market Manager McGray. “It is important to understand that at the current moment the Market it is not a place to facilitate social gatherings”, she added. “It’s a place to buy high quality foods and to support local entrepreneurs who have experienced very quickly the economic impacts of COVID 19 restrictions on small business.”
“As such, we are encouraging thoughtful and efficient shopping by only permitting 1 or 2 people from each household to attend at a time and to leave children and pets at home. We will have a list/map of participating vendors available to the general public so that customers can easily and quickly navigate the Market”, said Property and Facilities Manager Andrew Del Net.
Best parking access for the market is from the Weber street entrances with the pedestrian entrances at the north side of the market near King street.
Again, we thank everyone for their strong support for local farmers and producers during these challenging times. We look forward to the coming weeks as we continue to move forward and work towards re-opening other Market buildings and Market vendors and services.
We have a strong 45-year history at the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market and we know that by working together we will come through this and continue to have a strong and successful future.
For additional information:
Market Manager, St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market