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Farmers Market Vendors Find Silver Linings from Pandemic Summer

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Feyza Mutlu with Mediterranean Morsels says they have slightly shifted their business model for farmers markets amid the pandemic and found new success.

The coronavirus pandemic canceled many traditional farmers’ markets in Northeast Ohio this summer. As the season begins winding down, some vendors report experiencing increased demand.

Feyza Mutlu and her family run Summit County-based Mediterranean Morsels, and sell at a half-dozen markets in the region. Previously, they sold food hot-off-the-grill. But concerns about community spread prompted them to only offer frozen goods.

"Since we started pre-packing some of our foods, we’re able to spread to more markets at the same time. On Saturday mornings, we’re at five different places. Whereas before, when we had our whole set up, we would only be able to do so many. So I think there is a silver lining for [the pandemic] where you find different things [to do] because you’re forced to.”

Mutlu’s comments were echoed by other vendors, such as Kent-based bakery, Daisy Cakes. They’ve found success offering home cake pop kits. And for Holmes County-based Homegrown Blessings, they’ve found increased demand for produce this year. The owners attribute that to more people staying home and cooking.