Parker Farmers Market returns with changes

Craft vendors, samples missing from Mainstreet event


People crowded Parker’s Mainstreet June 14 much like any other Sunday in any previous year — except most wore masks and kept their distance from each other in small groups. They adhered to the one-way walking direction suggested by orange cones dividing the street in two.

Except for that — plus no samples, live music or craft vendors -- the Parker Farmers Market felt just about normal.

“We will get back to normal,” said Maria Offerman, Milford Spice Co. vendor and Parker resident. “I refuse to say ‘the new normal.’ We’ll get back to normal.”

Vendors and shoppers are hoping to welcome back craft booths back once the ever-changing public health guidelines loosen week by week.

Staci Mann, of Parker, makes a living at festivals and markets. She sells her apple butter, the Smooshed Apple, and lollipops in stores and at farmer’s markets. The suspension on sampling hasn’t hurt her business at all, Mann said. What she is worried about are the many summer festivals that have been canceled, which she relies on to sell various other products.

“I’ve had people ask for samples, but people that know they like the product or apple butter in general, they just want to buy anyway without sampling,” Mann said. “A festival, where I’ll make a month’s worth of income in a day — so I have to account for that loss of income.”

Mary Jo Farr, of Colorado Springs, sells her specialty Syrupology syrup at markets full-time — four markets in the area, the Parker Farmer’s Market being one of them.

For those curious to try a sample, Farr hands out to-go cups of her syrup, which is important for her business because “some of our products are a bit unusual. She said business has been good so far and is ready for craft vendors to be back again.

“The crowd’s good,” Farr said. “So I can’t complain.”


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