Although many businesses are still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, there seemed to be no sign of decline at the Teche Area Farmers Market Tuesday afternoon.
The farmers market reopened in early May, with local producers of fruit, vegetables and other goods loading up their trucks and heading to Bouligny Plaza to sell their wares to interested buyers.
Usually held at Bouligny Plaza twice a week, the market was closed in March as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Many of the vendors said that customers seemed more interested than ever to shop since reopening.
“It’s been going good (since reopening),” longtime vendor Gloria Boutte said at the event Tuesday. “We’re seeing the same customers who always came before.”
Boutte, who has been a farmers market vendor for about 20 years along with her husband, said the closing of the market for more than a month “felt like forever,” but she was happy to be back selling her assortments of fruits and vegetables.
Leona Bonin, another vendor who has been selling at the Teche Area Farmers Market for almost four years, also said that there has been no shortage of customers since the market reopened.
“It’s been going good, people want fresh vegetables,” Bonin said.
Like many of the vendors at Bouligny Plaza, Bonin was wearing a face mask as a precaution while also chatting to the customers who strolled through the various tents and stalls.
The Teche Area Farmers Market has been a staple for Teche Area residents to sell local wares to the public. The market is open year round on Saturday mornings from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and on Tuesday afternoons from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Local residents can experience a harvest of delicious homegrown produce and home-made products by area farmers, artists and crafters, according to the market’s social media page.
Also included are hand-made objects, home-made bread and fresh baked goods,honey, jellies, jams, herbs and candy.
Charles Romero, known as the “Gingerbread Man,” has sold homemade gingerbread cookies at the market for years, and added that he puts out regular shipments all around the country through word of mouth.
Romero, who was also selling his product at the market Tuesday, agreed that business has been good.
Bonin added that for some, the farmers market is more than just a place of commerce but a chance for local residents to connect with each other.
“It’s a nice place to be, it feels like home to me,” she said.