Business at the Maxwell Market has been slow this summer compared to previous years, according to several vendors.
They attributed the slowdown in business to the pandemic. The market included its usual live music, produce vendors, bakery, food trucks and more on Thursday, July 23, but this year’s market features added safety measures to protect vendors and customers.
Booths and tables were spread 6 feet apart and lined against the wall. Floor markers indicated where people could stand with safe distancing. A few booths were also set up directly in front of the pavilion. People attending the market were asked to wear a face covering prior to entering the event space and before interacting with vendors.
Jackie Kerns, a vendor for Way of Life Farms, said that week in particular had been slow compared to past markets in the season.
“It hasn’t been as busy as it’s usually been,” she said. “People are slowly trickling in and out, but last week, it was a lot faster. There were a lot more people coming in.”
Kerns said it’s hard to hear people through the mask and the distance, and she needs to raise her voice a lot to be able to communicate. In regards to business, Kerns said they did not make as much money as they normally would have this time in the season.
“We’ve haven’t made as much today as we’ve usually made,” she said. “Hopefully, next week it picks up more.”
Teresa Engbretson, a floral vendor for My Garden Overfloweth, has attended the market as a vendor on and off for four years and said this has been a slow season business-wise. She said she doesn’t think a lot of people know that the market is open for the season.
In terms of people wearing masks and maintaining 6 feet of distance, she said everyone is doing well on that end.
Lucy Alvarez, who makes Mama Lucy’s Salsa, agreed with other vendors about the slower pace.
“With this pandemic people don’t want to come out,” she said. “It’s been different.”
The market normally runs from 4-8 p.m. each Thursday at the Maxwell Pavilion, 145 N. First Place in Hermiston. The market has been canceled for Thursday, July 30, but organizers plan to reopen it on Thursday, Aug. 6.