Editor’s Note: We spoke with Lee Perron, the Market Manager for the Venice Farmers Market Saturdays 8am to 1pm and the Atlanta Braves Farmers Market Wednesdays 8am to noon. The Venice market is located on Venice Island at City Hall and the Braves market is located at Cool Today Park, the spring training home of the Atlanta Braves. Lee also manages the Englewood Farmers Market. We feature a separate interview with Lee focused on the EFM in our sister magazine Englewood Healthy Living. Digital edition at EnglewoodHealthyLiving.com.
Lee, how have you and your team adapted to make the markets safe for visitors and vendors?
We request that visitors wear face masks and respect social distancing. Our vendors are also wearing masks and gloves for vendors than handle food with their booth areas are at least 10 feet apart. We have sanitizing stations and we encourage visitors to follow a walking flow to support social distancing.
Will the venue for the Venice market shift back to its prior location after the construction around City Hall is completed, or is the Venice Avenue location permanent?
We’ll be working with the City of Venice to make that decision down the road.
How has the community responded to the Covid-19 safety precautions?
It’s been quite amazing. Mask compliance has been 98-99 percent and attendance volume has been close to pre-pandemic numbers. People want to participate in a safe outdoors shopping experience. We’ve worked hard to create a safe environment for our customers.
What’s available at the two markets in terms of produce and other items?
We continue to focus on local and organic fresh produce, artisan bakers, meats, seafood, dairy, plants, herbs, prepared foods, honey, syrups, sauces, salsa, and much more. Our vendors and their mix of products support our core values of nutritional health, education, sustainability, and sense of community.
What else would you like to share about the second year for the Atlanta Braves Farmers Market?
We’ll have even more vendors this year set up in the same CDC compliant market design we have in Venice, with plenty of free parking at Cool Today Park.
Will the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) continue and what’s your association with Feeding Florida?
We continue to accept SNAP and Feeding Florida enables people enrolled in the SNAP Program to double the value of their purchase at the market. In fact, we have implemented unlimited double dollar matching until the end of 2021. It’s a win-win for SNAP participants and Florida farmers.