Bossier City Farmers Market converts to drive-thru experience

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Stacey Tinsley/Bossier Press-Tribune | The Bossier City Farmers Market kicked off its 2020 season Saturday with a drive-thru market.

With social distancing guidelines in effect, a popular farmers market in Bossier City decided to make its opening day a drive-thru event, encouraging people to stay apart during the coronavirus outbreak.

More than 500 cars, many with multiple people inside, lined up to buy produce and other items from the Bossier City Farmers Market.

“It’s all to ensure the safety of our customers and make sure that they comply with social distancing,” said Chris Graham, founder and organizer of the Bossier City Farmers Market.

“I think everyone is excited to get out, while still adhering to social distancing guidelines. When a customer arrives at a booth, we’re looking at each other through masks and talking from a social distance perspective. It’s nice to see our residents and to see our vendors. I think today’s market was a much needed thing for our community,” he said.

Graham received approval from Gov. John Bel Edwards and local authorities to open as an essential business, using social distancing guidelines.

The market also encouraged customers to pre-order from all the vendors before arriving. 

Meagan Overley, with Plum Nelly Flowers, said the unique farmers market drive-thru is nothing that she had ever seen before. She was grateful to Graham for his hard work and dedication to making it happen.

“From what I have seen so far, today’s market has done very well. I’m enjoying it. Thank you to Chris for putting all of the effort into making today’s market happen,” Overley said.

Words of thankfulness to Graham for all of his hard work was echoed by many other vendors. 

“I think today’s market has been really great. Traffic has been going really easy. People seem like they are in a good mood and they are happy with what they buy. I’m glad that Chris was able to get this market operational today. It helps us and it also helps people to get out and buy products,” said Tracy Simmons, Gator Soy Candle Company.

The Bossier City Farmers Market will continue as a drive-thru market until organizers deem it safe to change back to the original format.

“Get out and support local and support your local community. These folks have essentially closed for the better part of three months and they are very eager to make a deal and see everybody,” Graham said.

The market will be open every Saturday 9 AM-1 PM from April 25th through Nov. 21 in the south parking lot of Pierre Bossier Mall.

The Bossier City Farmers Market was scheduled to open on March 28, but the date was pushed back due to the coronavirus outbreak.