NORFOLK, Va. - Some store shelves may be bare, but the fields of local farms are full - and they're coming to you.
“This is a time to let our local food system shine,” says Amy Jordan, who co-manages three farmers markets in Norfolk, along with her sister, Michele Ascher. “Our farmers and producers will have local eggs, meat, produce, bread and other staples for our customers all season long.”
Like many businesses, We Dig Tidewater LLC has had to adapt to current regulations to continue to conduct business.
That's where drive-thru farmers markets come in. We Dig Tidewater LCC is operating strictly in this format at two of its market locations at least through May.
Customers stay in their vehicles and drive through the open-air market, stopping briefly in front of any vendor with whom they made a purchase to pick up their pre-packaged order.
All items are pre-ordered and paid for ahead of time, so there is no exchange of currency or credit cards on site.
“Given our current health crisis, there’s no better way to get your food than directly from the farmer or producer, without being handled by others in between,” added Jordan.
The markets' co-managers are encouraging customers to pop their trunks or allow vendors to put items in the back seat to eliminate any close contact. Then, they drive home with a car full of great local food.
We Dig Tidewater LLC operates the Hampton Blvd. Farmers Market, Harvest Market at O’Connor Brewing Co. and East Beach Farmers Market, newly under their management this season.
The Hampton Blvd. Farmers Market will remain closed until further notice.
Harvest Market at O’Connor Brewing Co., located at 211 W. 24th Street in Norfolk, opens Sunday, April 5 from 12-2 p.m., and markets will be weekly, except for Easter Sunday, through the end of May.
East Beach Farmers Market will be weekly starting Saturday, April 18 from 9-11 a.m. at Shore Drive at 22nd Bay Street in front of the East Beach neighborhood in Norfolk.
Both markets will return to their normal walk-in shopping format and normal hours when conditions allow.
For a vendor list and pre-ordering instructions for each vendor, visit www.norfolkvafarmersmarket.com, Facebook or Instagram.
Jordan explains, “Our vendors are very relieved that we have figured out a way to be open this season, as they rely on farmers markets as one of their main revenue streams, and we are happy to provide a safer food shopping alternative for the community. These drive-through markets are a win for all.”