Branson farmers market works to keep customers safe

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BRANSON, Mo. — Homegrown fruit, homemade honey and plenty of arts and crafts, Shepherd of the Hills opened its farmers market for the season.

Crowds are buying local here on the first day at Shepherd of the Hills Farmers Market, and they’re seeing new procedures in place to make sure shoppers are socially distant.

“Trying to keep everybody a safe distance away from one another so that they’re spaced out and we’re doing that across the park in a number of ways,” Jeff Johnson, owner of Shepherd of the Hills said.

Johnson says they have a wide variety of vendors on site.

“We’ve got like a honey vendor,” Johnson said. “We got different produce and different plants and a couple of crafts worked in there as well. So just different people. And then we have a handful of craft shops that are opening today as well.”

One of the vendors selling crafts is The Lightz Shop. The owners, Bernadette and Miguel Tovar, say they are excited about a new beginning.

“Well he ended up losing his job, a really good job as a production manager during the coronavirus,” Bernadette said. “And we said during this time why don’t we get everything out of storage and try to get our family business going again and so today is actually the first day of that.”

They said they were proud of everything Shepherd of the Hills is doing to keep customers safe.

“It made us feel good as vendors of the way that they’re setting up here and handling it,” Bernadette said. “And even what they require to be a vendor here with the social distancing sign and the sanitizers.”

Customers we spoke with said they felt safe shopping at the farmers market. Customers like Retha Taffer and her daughter Taya.

“All the vendors are spread out really well,” Taya said. “Everyone seems to be respectful about not getting too close. Walking slower until someone else walks away so I feel perfectly safe being out here today.”

Shepherd of the Hills will be hosting its weekly farmers market every Friday from now until Oct. 23 from 3 p.m. up until 6 p.m.

Johnson hopes the farmers market will bring in new customers to Shepherd of the Hill’s shows, which reopened just last week.

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