Brighton Farmers Market opens with some frustrations from customers, vendors

Raven Brown
Updated: May 24, 2020 06:23 PM
Created: May 24, 2020 04:16 PM

BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WHEC) — The town of Brighton’s Farmers Market is usually packed with people when they open, but Sunday morning's opening was the opposite.

“This is a drastic change, a lot of people are struggling with it, there's a lot less vendors here than normal,” Bolton Farms President John Bolton said. 


Bolton said he's glad to be back out selling product, but said the town's social distancing rules make it hard on businesses. 

“I think the safety is paramount, however I think that it's over the top,” he said. “There’s normally about 50 more vendors here, so it's a much smaller crowd and a lot less items are here. Other markets like downtown, they display their products so people can see what they're buying.”

Operating procedures only allow customers to pre-order and pre-pay individual vendors, and there are requirements to wear masks, sanitize, and social distance. 

“The way Brighton has set this up though, it's like they want to kill this market,” customer Betsy Schaulf said. 

Schaulf said pre-ordering messes up the experience of going to the market. 

“I think our farmers are going to lose sales and I don't think these farmers can afford to come over and sit and not have many sales because nobody knows what to do and it's been made so hard," said Schaulf. "We have to order online, we have to pay online."

Town Supervisor Bill Moehle said they are in uncharted territory, and safety is their top priority. 

“We referred to the Department of Agriculture and Markets and their guidelines and we wanted to make sure that we could do this market in a way that would be safe for our vendors but also safe for the residents,” Moehle said. 

He said they are happy to get it to reopen, and as the summer continues he expects they will be able to relax some rules. 

“We’re facing something that we've never felt before, but we're also going to be looking at how the market evolves over the course of the summer [and] as the conditions evolve,” Moehle said.

Moehle said as of now you can preorder online here.

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