The Lynchburg Community Market is still open for business! This favorite local farmers market and shopping hub has adjusted its services to accommodate COVID-19 regulations and allow commerce to continue. The permanent shops and restaurants are still open Tuesday through Friday until 2 p.m. On Saturdays, however, the Market really gets buzzing as shoppers pull up to the designated bays to pick up their pre-orders from their favorite farm, maker and restaurant vendors. This adaptation of the Market is one of many similar shopping scenarios occurring in Lynchburg right now in which vendors have united to ensure their products continue to be available to the public. A grateful community has responded, stepping up to support these independent businesses and help them maintain their livelihood in the midst of this crisis.
How It Works
COVID-19 has required the adoption of new shopping systems so business owners can distribute their products while people are staying socially distant. To this end, the Lynchburg Community Market has launched a pre-ordering system so consumers can maintain their regular grocery shopping routines while continuing to support these small businesses. To get your fresh veggies this Saturday, visit the Community Market’s preorder page, which contains contact information for each vendor, including websites, emails, social media pages and phone numbers. Not every vendor has the same setup or capabilities, but they all have ways that shoppers can contact them and order ahead. Once you’ve ordered, the Community Market is committed to ensuring that you can quickly and safely pick up your products when you arrive on Saturday morning. And while some vendors may only be at the Market on Saturdays, certain vendors also offer delivery options!
The demand for natural, organic, locally sourced food is higher than ever, as people become more aware of the health benefits of fresh, homegrown meats and vegetables. But not everyone can afford these local farm produced goods. For years, the Lynchburg Community Market and its vendors have utilized purchasing policies that encourage the use of government nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) and Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI). These programs have made great strides in recent years to support low-income families in need of nutritious options and connect them with local healthy food products. The latest update to the Lynchburg Community Market allows these programs to continue, so the whole community has the opportunity to shop with these local vendors!
This preorder program, of course, especially benefits local makers. Since small businesses have been hit hard by the economic downturn from the COVID-19 crisis, it’s imperative to the Lynchburg Community Market that their usual vendors feel supported and able to keep running business as usual (with a few tweaks). Family-owned farms and businesses such as Restoration Acres Farm, Crooked Creek Bison & More and Tightsqueeze Farms are able to sell their meat products, like beef, chicken, bison and more; Great Day Gardens, Soulshine Farms, Archlynn Farm and others can sell fresh-picked produce like lettuce, tomatoes and carrots; and makers like Dancing Chick, Shirley’s Handmades and Evergreen Lavender Farm can sell their one-of-a-kind homemade items, like unique wire and gemstone jewelry and lavender-scented soaps and lotions. Beyond this, popular restaurants and artisans that call the indoor Community Market their permanent home, such as Father’s Cafe & Bakery, Grains of Sense and Barb’s Dream Hut, are also taking online orders for their popular soups, sandwiches, baked goods and specialty drinks.
Uniting In Support
The Lynchburg Community Market has made the transition to virtual- and pickup-only shopping a seamless experience supporting both their vendors and their customers. We all look forward to getting back to a more normal shopping experience and seeing our beloved Community Market buzzing with excitement over fresh strawberries, ripe tomatoes and fresh made pasta. Until then, support a local farmer with online ordering through the Lynchburg Community Market. We’ll see you again…real soon!