Montrose farmers market reopens, but vendors worry about attendance amid COVID-19

As certain aspects of daily life slowly start to work their way back, the Montrose Harvest Market reopened on Sunday after the farmers market was shut down back in March.
MONTROSE, Calif. (KABC) -- As certain aspects of daily life slowly start to work their way back, the Montrose Harvest Market reopened on Sunday after the farmers market was shut down back in March.

Vendors hopes that despite concerns over the coronavirus, shoppers would still turn out and buy produce. A handful of shoppers told Eyewitness News they were just happy to have it back so that they could support local businesses.

Those who did show up were subject to a host of new changes, including required face masks and physical distancing measures. Customers will not be able to handle and pick the produce themselves, which will instead be handled by the vendors.

Hand-washing stations will also be placed throughout the market for customers and vendors.

Market operators say the 31 vendors selling on Sunday were primarily focused on grocery and produce items. But, customers weren't be allowed to sample any of the products.

"I'm afraid we're going to have to do virtual samples, somehow. You know, you can take it to your car and try it out as soon as you leave the market, but we ask that nobody is eating in the market," said the market's manager, Mark Sheridan.

Organizers say the fees for vendors were increased due to costs associated with the sinks, paper towels and masks for customers who forget them. The market will be open from 8 a.m. to noon going forward.
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.