New Curbside Farmers Market in Bluffton


Bluffton hosted its first drive-thru farmers market on April 8, when local farmers and other vendors set up their wares in the parking lot of The Grind Coffee Roasters.


IMG 4541The aim was to offer local residents the chance to support small producers and to safely buy healthy food.

“We had a good turnout. All the vendors did really well,” said Ian Duncan, owner of The Grind and organizer of the curbside farmers market.

The Grind, which is open for drive-thru coffee drinks, had never hosted a farmers market before. Duncan got the idea from a group in Las Vegas that posted a video of its curbside market on the internet.
“We have a big parking lot with no one parking in it right now, and it’s set up for quick in and out,” he said. His landlord approved the idea and Kim Viljac, organizer of the Farmers Market of Bluffton, encouraged him to go for it.

The 10 vendors on the first day of the market included Whippoorwill Farms, Palmetto Pops, a produce and seafood stand, The Herb Room, a bakery and others. More vendors will join the market on Saturday, Duncan said.

Drivers aren’t allowed to get out of their vehicles. Instead, they pull into the parking lot and stop in front of the booth they want to buy from.

Vendors take orders and then load purchases into the drivers’ trunks or back seats. Some vendors even use electronic payment methods like Venmo to make the whole process contact-free. Vendors are spaced a safe distance apart to respect social distancing and wear gloves.

Duncan said he has gotten good feedback about the market. “Whole families were in those cars,” he said. “They were happy to have a chance to go out safely and get what they need.”


   IF YOU GO   

What: Drive-thru farmers market
When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays through April 30
Where: The Grind Coffee Roasters, Sheridan Park, Bluffton