GARNET VALLEY, Pa. (CBS) — Nonessential businesses have been forced to close during the coronavirus outbreak while essential businesses like grocery stores remain open. Booths Corner Farmers Market in Garnet Valley has both essential and nonessential stores, putting it in an unusual situation.
The farmers market is open but with some exceptions. The majority of vendors have been shut down.
“Doing whatever we need to do for the customers,” said Benjie Cohen.
Food stores are open but the 92,000-square-foot market is seeing less foot traffic. About 70% of the stores inside had to close.
“It’s been a difficult transition. Only the food merchants are allowed to be opened and the crowds have been off,” Bonnie Fryer said.
Still, retailers are trying to keep locals stocked with food items they look forward to picking up on a weekly basis.
“You get fresh baked foods, fresh fruits, vegetables, the meat is great. You can get a roast if you need it,” shopper Melinda Girardi said.
There is some pushback from people in the community who believe it should be closed, considering some stores are nonessential.
But last week, Gov. Tom Wolf clarified that specialty stores are OK to stay open.
For everyone inside the walls of the market, sales have plummeted.
“This is pretty intense for us because it’s Easter season. We have our candy bought in advance, so we have candy to sell,” said Galen Beiler with The Candy Counter.
While open, owners say they are working with Bethel Township to ensure the market is staying up to code and safe for shoppers.
“We have hand sanitizers at every door. Maintenance staff goes around and sanitizes bathrooms, door handles,” Cohen said.
For now, owners say they will continue to open every Friday and Saturday for people who need to come in for food items they can’t find at the supermarket.