In 2008, the Davidson Farmers Market (DFM) started with the mission to connect shoppers to local farmers, purveyors, and artisans to access fresh local foods and goods made within a 100 mile radius of Davidson, NC. For over a decade, DFM has grown from a dozen vendors to over 40 small businesses providing a variety of fresh produce, proteins, dairy, breads and baked goods, prepared foods, and health and wellness products. Our loyal shoppers have increased over time, and we now serve over 600 shoppers a week. The market community represents the beauty and inclusion that make Davidson distinctive, and shoppers and vendors have kept the market going all these years.
But nobody could have predicted the challenges DFM and our community would face this year, and now we need your help to continue the market’s work and to keep Davidson’s community strong, safe, and healthy.
When DFM shut down in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Directors committed to the safety of vendors, shoppers, and the community, while at the same time keeping our shoppers fed and our vendors in business. We have offered online shopping and off-site pick-up locations as a temporary solution; we’ve also been meeting weekly to plan how DFM will reopen, operate, and continue to expand its mission.
The first thing DFM did was waive all vendor fees for the 2020 season, to give every vendor financial relief and the ability to continue participating at the market. The second decision, to not solicit sponsorship support from small businesses as in years past, came from the same commitment to reduce the financial burden of those hard hit by mandated closures. These two decisions will impact DFM’s operating budget and ability to expand programming, but they come from DFM’s core mission and values. Without our vendors, there is no market. Without our Main Street businesses, there is no Davidson. We are a community, above everything else.