After adapting to the challenges of running Westchester’s largest farmers market during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pleasantville Farmers Market is ready for its next hurdle: falling temperatures.
The Pleasantville Farmers Market will continue outdoors at Memorial Plaza through the winter. The market will be closed on Saturday, Nov. 28 to allow for the transition to the winter market, and will officially open on Dec. 5.
“Foodchester has operated the PFM as a year-round market since our inception in 2013 and we are committed to sustaining this important community resource, both for our customers and our producers,” said Peter Rogovin, president of Foodchester, Inc., which operates the market. “While we’d prefer to be inside this winter, the village has no indoor location large enough to operate while protecting the health of our shoppers, producers, volunteers and staff – which is our first priority.”
To ensure the safety of shoppers and producers, the market will rely on its online store, Pleasantville Farmers Market Online (PFM-O) to help speed the shopping process. This will help shoppers avoid crowds and pick up their food order quickly, while helping producers protect their food from freezing temperatures and spoilage.
“We are doing everything we can to support regional growers and food artisans through this difficult time,” Rogovin said.
He noted that as small businesses, many producers have faced unprecedented challenges during the pandemic and value the opportunity to participate in the market year-round.
Expanded Online Store, New Hours
The online marked debuted this summer to provide easy, quick shopping. PFM-O customers place pre-orders online, pay with a single click and enjoy a quick, contact-free pickup during their visit to vendors at the market on Saturday. A small pickup fee is applied to each order. The fee helps defray costs of the software for Foodchester, a nonprofit organization run by volunteers and a small staff.
“We’re excited to announce that PFM-O is expanding,” said Steven Bates, executive director of market operations. “For the first time, all participating vendors – and all their products – will be in our online store. With a complete menu of offerings, all customers will be able to enjoy preordering and prepaying. Not having to stand on line to shop and then pull out a wallet with gloved fingers is going to be a huge convenience. And as COVID case counts rise, our shoppers appreciate adjustments we make to speed them on their way.”
Bates added that some producers will also bring products for spontaneous walk-up purchase, but “the best way to ensure that you get what you want is to preorder on PMF-O.”
To accommodate more shoppers, PMF-O hours have been expanded. Customers will now be able to preorder from 7 p.m. on Tuesdays through 7 p.m. on Thursdays.
As winter closes in, the efficiency of online preordering will enable vendors to have a shorter market day, Bates said. The market will be open from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., which will limit exposure to the cold for the producers and their products and avoiding potential food spoilage.
Shoppers and vendors will continue to be required to wear a face covering at all times, and lines will be monitored to ensure safe distancing.
The public may visit pleasantvillefarmersmarket.org to register for the online store, check the list of participating vendors and register to receive the market’s weekly newsletters to keep up to date on promotions and other news. Updated safety protocols are on the website as well.
The Pleasantville Farmers Market has been voted Best of Westchester from 2014 to 2020, and attracts customers from across the tristate area.