Marietta Square Farmers Market reopens May 30 at new location

March 25, 2017 Marietta - Candy Odaffer (left), owner of Nature's Garden Soaps, talks with Johnny Fulmer (center), market director, and Heather Kaiserlian (foreground), assistant director, at Marietta Square Farmers Market on Saturday, March 25, 2017. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM



Residents who have missed Marietta Square Farmers Market’s presence in downtown will soon have a chance to reconnect with its longtime vendors and stock up on their favorite goodies.

The market will resume operations from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday,May 30 in the Mill Street parking lot across from the Marietta Welcome Center.

The market is normally held on the north side of Marietta Square, but director Johnny Fulmer said the temporary move to the lot will allow vendors, staff and customers to follow social distancing guidelines.

About three dozen vendors have indicated they will set up at the market, but Fulmer said more might join in.

“I know that everybody is excited,” he said.

To ensure social distancing, vendors will be spaced at least six feet apart and will be required to wear masks and gloves, Fulmer said. And organizers will limit the number of people allowed inside the market area at one time.

“We want to make sure we follow all guidelines and keep everyone safe as possible,” he said.

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Before the pandemic, the market was open year around and had an average of 65 vendors in 2019, according to its website. Customers perusing the tables can find plenty of fresh produce, honey, soaps, breads, jellies and jams, flowers and herb plants from vendors.

Fulmer said since the market closed in March, he’s had customers contacting him on the phone and through social media, asking when will things reopen. Since the reopening was announced earlier this week, the response has been “overwhelming.”

Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin said he believes the market’s reappearance will go “excellent.”

“I think it’ll spring right back,” he said.

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The market’s return is being applauded by Brian Higgins, co-owner of Hometown Honey. Higgins, who said his company was one of the “original eight” that started the market, said the COVID-19 pandemic has hit his Kennesaw-based business hard. Sales have dropped by 50% and Bed, Bath and Beyond, which sells his products, closed all of its Georgia stores. Even so, he added the blow from the financial fallout has been softened by customers who are buying Hometown Honey products online.

Farmers markets in Woodstock and Brookhaven are back in action as well, and Higgins said customers in those communities have welcomed their returns. While he predicts the re-launch of the Marietta Square Farmers Market will “go great,” Higgins said he thinks coronavirus will be around for a while.

“I just don’t think this thing is over,” he said.

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