On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, the Bend Farmers Market (Market) kicks off another season, and for the first time, is offering online ordering and curbside pick-up for community members.
“Last year, despite the challenges that came from managing the market amidst a pandemic, we experienced a surge in traffic,” said Marielle Slater, the Market’s chairperson of the Board. “This was a welcome and wonderful show of support from our community members, and now we’re excited to offer online ordering and pick-up to provide additional options and flexibility for our growing number of Market enthusiasts.”
Jesica Carleton, the Market’s new market manager, has been instrumental in partnering with Portland-based Tap4Markets, a company that specializes in mobile app solutions that make pre-ordering seamless for customers. For farmers and vendors, the app provides another channel to market and sell their products, and for customers, provides a flexible shopping solution for those who are unable to attend the market, but who still want to support the local food economy.
“We know that for some of our community members, the Market hours aren’t super convenient,” said Carleton. “We also know that public safety is still a concern despite the availability of the COVID-19 vaccines. By setting up online ordering and curbside pick-up through our new mobile app, our hope is that everyone who wants to support our local farmers and vendors will be able to do so.”
To support this new capability, the Market will be engaging a team of volunteers to assist with order fulfillment on Wednesdays. “Each week, the online order cutoff will be Monday at 10pm for that Wednesday’s pick-up, and the curbside pick-up window will be Wednesdays from 2-3pm,” Slater said. “This ensures farmers and vendors have plenty of time to fulfill online orders, and will keep Market shopping smooth, preventing bottlenecks in the Market’s flow.”
For new farmers and vendors just starting out, and for those who aren’t able to host a live table each week because the market is at capacity, the addition of online ordering is a welcome Market feature.
Prior to officially launching Tap4Markets, Carleton spoke with Market vendor Michael Efimov of Marquam Hill Berries, who was thrilled that the Market would be offering online ordering this year. According to Carleton, Efimov participated in a market last year that provided this service and said that not only did the platform boost his overall sales for the season, it provided community members with another way to shop at the farmer’s market, and a way that was socially-distanced. He thinks it will be a valuable addition to the Market’s offerings.
Another exciting feature to this year’s Market is the continuation of the Double Up Food Bucks program. Per the Farmers Market Fund website, Double Up program is Oregon’s first statewide incentive program that makes it easier for low-income Oregonians to eat more fresh, local food while also getting to support family farmers and local vendors. The program doubles the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits so recipients can purchase fresh meats, cheeses, eggs, and bread and get an additional $20 to spend on fresh fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, beans, herbs, veggie starts and nuts.
“This will be our second year participating in the Double Up Food Bucks program,” said Slater. “Last year, we matched up to $10 for SNAP recipients, which totaled more than $4,000 with funds from the Farmers Market Fund and additional support from the Central Oregon Health Council. This year, we get to double our match up to $20. In other words, if you spend $20 of your SNAP dollars at the Market on any food item, we will give you another $20 to buy fresh local veggies and fruit.
“Out of the more than 120 farmers markets in Oregon, the Bend Farmers Market is one of five markets who gets to match up to $20 in the Double Up program,” said Megan French of Boundless Farmstead. “This program is so important because it helps make local food more accessible and affordable to all members of our community, no matter your income. David and I are thrilled that the Market will match up to $20 this year.”
The Market will run every Wednesday from 2pm to 6pm, May 5 to October 13. The Market is located downtown in Brooks Street Alley between Franklin and Minnesota.
New vendors this year include OGIA, a woman-owned bakery located in Sisters known for its hearty seed loaf; Canyon Moon Farms, a women-owned farm located in Crook County focusing on veggies, herbs, cut flowers and medicinal plants; Cultivate Farms, a small farm producing a wide variety of veggies; and Hummus Stop, a family-run small business boasting 16 varieties of hummus with chickpeas grown in Eastern Oregon.
Wednesday Market Vendors:
Berkey’s Blueberries, Blissful Spoon, Bontà — Natural Artisan Gelato, Boundless Farmstead, BrandyWine Fisheries, Broadus Bees, Canyon Moon Farms, Compassion Kombucha, Cultivate Farms, Deschutes Gourmet Mushrooms, Farmhouse Pies, Field’s Farm, Field’s Grassfed Beef, Gather Nuts, Golden Eagle Organics, Gorilla Greens, Groundwork Organics, Happy Harvest, Hummus Stop, Jackson’s Corner, Lone Pine Coffee Roasters, Marquam Hill Berries, North 44 Farm, Ogia, Oregon Spirit Distillers, Pine Mountain Ranch, Rainshadow Organics, Roots Wild, Sparrow Bakery, Sungrounded Farm, Super Belly Ferments, Thomas Orchards, Tumalo Lavender, Vaquero Valley Ranch.
For more information, contact Jesica Carleton, firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Bend Farmer’s Market
The Bend Farmer’s Market has been an institution in Central Oregon for more than 20 years. Its mission is to create and sustain a centralized market that provides fresh, local produce and farm products to its Central Oregon community, both providing a viable market for its local farmers and enhancing the business, nutritional, and community health of Central Oregon.