The Copley Square Farmers Market, the first farmers market to resume in Boston last May following the onset of the pandemic, as well as traditionally the city’s biggest and busiest farmers market, has returned for a new season.
“It’s a lot busier than I expected, and it seems like people are excited for it to be back, I guess,” said Tyler Lambeth, a volunteer for Boston Cares who was tracking attendance at the Copley Square Famers Market on Friday, May 21 – the third one held there this year since reopening the previous Friday.
Melissa Roiter, owner of Westborough-based Yummy Mummy Bakery, said they have been vending at the Copley Farmers Market for eight years, as well as at other farmers markets, mostly in the Boston area, during pre-COVID times.
“I wasn’t here personally but heard it was definitely busier last week, and on such a beautiful day as today, that’s kind of sad,” Roiter said. “But I’m glad to be back…and a lot of our regulars have been stopping by to say ‘hi,’ along with some tourists.”
Sisters of Anarchy Ice Cream, based in Shelburne Vt., and with an additional distribution center in Amesbury that operates only during the summer months, is another returning vendor at the Copley Square Farmers Market this season.
“It’s a very different crowd [as opposed to other farmers markets we work],” said Bob Clark, who along with Rachel Ciancola, was working the ice cream maker’s booth in Copley Square. “It’s a long duration crowd that’s steady over a long period, rather than trying to squeeze it all in in two or three hours.”
Doug Kasam, who co-owns Riddle Brook Farm with Shea Maloney and her husband, Mike Cotter, said it’s the first year in business for their 8½ -acre farm in Douglas, Mass., and that Copley Square is the only Farmers Market they’re working this summer, selling fresh-cut flowers, as well as oyster mushroom and fresh pasture-raised eggs.
“Everyone’s really excited for this,” said Kasam, “and all the market managers are saying that a lot more vendors will be coming in the next few weeks to draw the crowds in.”
Jennifer Merrill, an employee of Boston Smoked Fish Co., said she’s relatively new to the job but that the Copley Square Farmers Market had more vendors and longer hours of operation, as well as more foot traffic, compared to the farmers market she worked at Harvard Square in Cambridge the previous Sunday.
“The market’s really fun, and I like working here so far,” said Merrill. “And it’s great to get out after COVID and get some fresh air.”
Lisa Rebello, a Boston resident said she had regularly patronized the Copley Farmers Market in the past, but this was the first time she had been back there this year.
“It’s nice to see the market back up and running, and it makes you feel closer to the way things used to be,” Rebello said. “By the same token, it’s a little discouraging to not see as many vendors, but it’s early [in the season], so hopefully more vendors will be out, and it’s important to support small local businesses.”
The Copley Square Farmers Market takes place at Dartmouth and Boylston streets in Back Bay on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., through Nov. 23. Visit https://www.massfarmersmarkets.org/copley for information, including 2021 market rules and safety regulations.