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New Windsor on-farm market helping Carroll County small businesses sell products during coronavirus crisis

An on-farm market in New Windsor is helping other Carroll County businesses by distributing their products during coronavirus-related closures.

Local Homestead Products LLC, owned by Trevor and Victoria Hoff, has become a hub for local businesses to sell some of their products.

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“Our market is based around local businesses even before all of this started, so a lot of the local restaurants bought produce from us, of course, the things that we were growing,” said Victoria. “So our relationship was kind of already opened up through us supplying them with produce. So with everything going on, we know that the restaurant industry is struggling.

"So we kind of turn the tables around and they’re now supplying us. So it’s a different way of doing it, but it’s worked out really well.”

Local Homestead Products has partnered to sell products from a variety of local businesses including Uncle Matty’s in New Windsor, Molli’s Cafe in Westminster, Starry Night bakery in Westminster, Whispering Breeze in Taneytown and many more.

According to Victoria, customers have been responding well to the additional products.

“We find that people really like the convenience of having multiple products at one location and to be able to feel that they’re supporting multiple small businesses without having to go place to place you know, eliminating that social distancing," said Victoria.

They are hoping this will help local businesses both now and in the future.

“All the local businesses, we’re all a really tight-knit community and we don’t want to see each other fail,” said Victoria. “Knowing that we’re still open and we have the people coming to us, it’s kind of a win-win because we can increase sales for our restaurants, get their name to our customers and get their product to our customers. So hopefully in the future when this all goes back to normal, they’ll remember that and be able to go directly to the restaurant and get the same great food that’s on our shelves today.”

The on-farm market has also taken multiple measures not only to help other businesses but members of the community as well. They have expanded their business hours from only being open Friday through Sunday to also being open Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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On Tuesdays, they have a 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. time slot for high-risk shoppers only, which include those with a compromised immune system, elderly or pregnant. As an additional measure they only allow up to 10 shoppers at a time but during high-risk shopping, they only allow five at a time to emphasize social distancing.

“We found that people are very patient and very understanding and have definitely been giving people their own space. So it’s really worked out the best that it can for the situation,” Victoria said.

They are also repeatedly and thoroughly disinfecting.

“We’re encouraging people to pay with credit cards that way we’re not handling cash. All of our employees are wearing gloves and changing them throughout the day and washing hands throughout the day. We are wiping down all of our baskets and carts and door handles and any hard service at least every hour," said Victoria. "During the shopping period, we’re wiping down baskets after every use. We’re doing a lot of extra measures that I think are really essential and really go a long way and being able to stay open because who knows what’s gonna happen in the weeks to come.”

They also have a hand washing station and require all guests to wash their hands before entering.

The on-farm market is located at 2425 Marston Road. Hours are: Tuesdays from noon to 7 p.m. (with noon to 3 for high-risk shoppers only), Wednesday from noon to 7 p.m. Fridays from noon to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are closed Mondays and Thursdays. For updates on their products, inventory and hours, shoppers can visit the market’s Facebook page.

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