WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — COVID-19 has put the brakes on large gatherings of people, which include events like farmers markets. But one indoor farmers market has adapted to the times by offering an online alternative, and it’s paying off.
“Colorado products, that’s our main emphasis. So most of the items, certainly all the farms we get products from, are from Colorado farms,” owner/operator of the Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market Dick Barkey told Denver7.
Barkey runs the market, which has everything a typical farmers market would include, along with his wife. That includes goods from nearly sixty vendors and thirteen different farm sources, from dairy to produce, honey goods to pickles and hot sauces, arts and crafts and handmade decor.
“We emphasize local food products,” Barkey said.
But like every other business, the market had to deal with the new reality of COVID-19. They limited the number of people in the store at one time to just three, and were forced to look at other alternatives.
“We shifted to an online delivery and pickup process,” Barkey said. “And we started getting steady orders from it pretty quickly.”
The new system allows customers to shop online for local goods, which are packaged together by a staff member, and either handed off directly to the customer for pickup six days a week, or delivered directly to the customers home three days a week.
“My revenue has escalated tremendously,” vendor Lana Auden told Denver7.
Auden sells local honey and honey products. She has had a booth at the market for years, along with another retail store. That store was closed as a result of local health orders, so Four Seasons became her only source of income. She says online ordering has been a “blessing.”
“People who didn’t know this market existed before are shopping here because they can have the products delivered to them,” she said.
Despite near-zero foot traffic, sales as a whole for the market are up. Barkey says the online ordering system is here to stay.
“We’re inviting more. We can handle more orders than we have right now,” he said. “We’re open and ready.”
More details on delivery and pickup options, along with the online store, can be found here.