Summer is here! The perennials are in full bloom and fresh local produce is ready for the pickin’! Like so many other things though, COVID-19 has forced the Parkdale Market to make some changes this year. In the past couple of weeks, Ottawa Markets – which manages both the Parkdale and the Byward Markets – launched Pick & Click, their online store with curbside pickup at both market locations. Parkdale Market’s pickup days are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:45am-2:15pm, deadline to order is by 8pm two days before the pickup day.
As always, all of the vendors in the online store are local producers, so you can still count on getting the same quality goods that you’ve come to expect from the Parkdale Market. Except now you wander with your fingers clicking, rather than your flip-flops flapping.
We spoke with the Executive Director of Ottawa Markets, Zach Dayler to find out more about Pick & Click:
How has the current Covid-19 situation affected the Ottawa Farmers Market(s)?
OM: “Traditionally, markets are really about people coming together, talking with the producer, saying hello to friends, and browsing the best of local offerings. In the current pandemic situation we find ourselves in, we realize that is not immediately possible. Our goal was to first, connect local producers with customers; and second, to give people a sense of normalcy that we will get back to what we love.
What have been your successes + challenging since launching Pick & Click?
OM: “The best success has been engaging local producers and helping them generate sales.
“The largest challenge has been keeping up with demand. The contactless model is very labour intensive. To support our team, and maintain a clean environment we have had to reduce our hours of operation. But, we are learning the best strategies and looking to expand our hours if we can.”
What plans are in place for the future of the market?
OM: “We are working with the City of Ottawa and Public Health to put in place measures that will allow us to re-open both Parkdale and ByWard markets. These measures include added hand-wash and sanitization stations, a new distance layout, guided traffic, and contactless payment options. We are optimistic we can begin the phased openings throughout June.”
For more information and to place an order visit https://www.localline.ca/ottawamarkets.