For their 45th season, Oak Park Farmers Market is offering two ways to shop. In addition to a modified in-person market opening on Saturday, May 30, they are also piloting an online preordering program through What’s Good, an app designed to connect people to local farmers, artisans and producers.
Online preordering, expected to sell out quickly, went live on Monday, May 25 at 9 a.m. The first virtual market sold out within hours.
In the future, pre-orders will be offered in limited quantities to prevent volunteers and village staff from becoming overwhelmed. As familiarity with the aggregation process increases, the capacity for pre-orders will grow as well.
Interested parties are encouraged to create an account on the site. Click on Oak Park, under Chicago markets, to see a list vendors and products available for purchase.
Given the limited number of preorders, market-goers are encouraged to keep pre-ordering slots available to high-risk shoppers. Virtual market shoppers must pre-pay online to receive their order in Pilgrim Church’s parking lot at 460 Lake St. between 9 a.m. and noon. Items will be placed directly into vehicles and no money will be exchanged.
Green City Market uses What’s Good to fill orders. Recently Robin Schirmer, a former Oak Park Farmers Market assistant manager and current volunteer, visited the Chicago market to observe the aggregation and distribution process where volunteers fill and give out 275 online preorders per market.
“Oak Park’s operation will start out on a much smaller scale,” said Schirmer. “It should be able to grow into a successful asset for the market, farmers and those unable to safely shop in the live market.”
Oak Park’s in-person market, featuring more than 20 vendors, will open at 7:30 a.m. across the street from Pilgrim Church at Scoville and Lake and close at 1 p.m. Free parking is available in the OPRF High School parking structure on Scoville at Lake.
And, yes, there will be donuts, sold pre-boxed on the church’s lawn, also available for pre-order pickup.