The Amherstburg Farmers Market’s 10th season kicks off at their new permanent location, GL Heritage Brewery, this Saturday (May 16) with some restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The challenges faced by switching locations over the years between Toddy Jones Park and the Malden Community and Cultural Centre, also known as the “Little White Church” had the Amherstburg Farmers Market on the brink of closing forever at the end of their ninth season. Fortunately, Amherstburg’s first full-service and award winning craft brewery, GL Heritage Brewing Company, known for their deliberate focus on local collaboration and high-quality artisan offerings, stepped in to help. The agricultural-based, small batch, and local family-run brewery is a convenient 200m from the former market location at the “Little White Church”.
“We are excited to partner with GL Heritage Brewery, a local business with proven success within a short period, and only a stone’s throw away from the original location of the Amherstburg Farmers Market. The move to Toddy Jones Park last year was not as successful as we thought it would be and we were ready to dissolve the market when opportunity knocked to be at GL Heritage Brewery – it was a perfect pairing”, explains AFM President, Rita Casagrande.
“As a local, homegrown craft brewery focused on bringing the community together, the farmers market environment is a next natural step to our agricultural offering on site. Since we opened our doors 2 ½ years ago, we have always searched out new and interesting ways to collaborate with other local entrepreneurs, small businesses and artisans to bring unique products and experiences to Amherstburg. Having the AFM on site brings that collaboration and business support to a new level.”, says GL Heritage Brewing Company co-owner, Jen Desjardins-Grondin.
Opening of the Market’s 10th season came into question due to the current Coronavirus pandemic. However, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit and the provincial government deem farmers markets as an essential service, since it provides fresh produce and food items to the community. Thus, official approval was given for them to open with strict guidelines in place.
Safety precautions are important to keep both vendors and customers safe. Physical distancing measures will be implemented, vendors will be limited to ten in total, and organizers are encouraging a “Grab & Go” shopping experience, with one customer served at each booth at a time.
Organizers are also asking everyone to please limit shopping to one person per family on site. In addition they ask patrons to stay away if they are unwell, have recently traveled outside of Canada, or if they have been in contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19.
Vendors will be offering fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, baked goods, fresh fish, local honey, gourmet packaged foods, microgreens, baked bread, pierogies, local wine, garden plants and pet food.
GL Heritage will also be offering craft beer for purchase from their retail shop between 9:00am and 5:00pm.
Depending on the status of the pandemic, organizers hope to increase the number of vendors to showcase approximately 20 high-quality vendors featuring produce and crafted products from around Windsor Essex County. Eventually, organizers may also host local talent and family-friendly attractions featured on different weekends, which was part of the original pre-pandemic plans.
The Amherstburg Farmers Market is the first 2020 Farmer’s Market to open in the Windsor Essex County region this and operates on Saturdays starting May 16 from 8:30am-1:30pm through the end of October at GL Heritage Brewing Co (8728 Howard Avenue).
For more information visit the Amherstburg Farmers Market Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AmherstburgFarmersMarket/
For more about GLHeritage Brewery visit https://www.glheritagebrewing.ca