Downtown Lapeer, also known as the heart of town, wasn’t beating the way it usually would during the COVID-19 lockdown. With restaurants closed, the Historic Farmers Market of Lapeer was still open. While some vendor stands were seen as essential at the start of May, other vendors were seen as non-essential.
Denise Becker, owner of the Historic Farmers Market of Lapeer for the past 20 years, was concerned with how market sales would be affected by Coronavirus.
“I didn’t know if we would be able to open because of all of the restrictions put in place,” Becker said. “We opened on the first Saturday of May and it was the best May yet.”
Vendors that sell fresh produce, flowers, and other food supplies were allowed to set up their stands at the start of May. For the past nine years, Farmer David Burdis has been sharing produce from his family farm with the market.
“Every week has been a new record this year,” Burdis said. “I have never had my greenhouse emptied this soon.”
Although some vendors have been back at the market since the start of May, other vendors had to wait a little bit longer to experience the market this year. Lisa Benitez, owner of a handmade jewelry business called M’Eye Designs, was among them.
“Craft vendors weren’t allowed to be at the market until June 6 and it’s so good to be back,” Benitez said. “I spent a lot of quarantine making jewelry and waiting to sell it here at the market.”
“Normally people seem happy to be back at the market when it opens,” Becker said. “This year it’s even more noticeable that everyone is happy to see each other again.”