Kent’s Haymaker Market is growing in popularity as the weeks of social distancing roll on. Due to the pandemic, it is no longer the typical indoor/outdoor market. However, customers are encouraged to continue to shop locally with the new Haymaker Market drive-thru located on Franklin Ave. below Haymaker Parkway bridge.

The drive-thru continues to offer goods such as meats, cheeses, bread, desserts, fresh produce, drinks, hygiene products and more. 

farmer's market

The Haymaker Farmers’ Market in Kent has transitioned into a drive-thru. 

Haymaker Market manager Andrew Rome explained sales for many vendors have increased compared to the profits around this time last year. He believes this is because many people are cooking at home now and there is limited availability at larger grocery chains. 

“Customers have confidence in what we are doing,” Rome said.

Haymaker Market is gaining attention and business from new customers each week. Rome believes simplifying the supply chain makes Haymaker Market a more reliable and safer option when shopping for everyday goods.

Marissa Mathews, owner of Busy B Bakery, explained that her from-home business is doing very well at the Haymaker Market. Mathews explained that she was getting positive feedback from her customers and her sales had increased as well. Busy B Bakery has increased its safety precautions when handling food and customers’ orders with more secure packaging seals.

Mathews started pre-orders so that customers could pick up their custom-made requests during the market’s hours. Pre-orders can be sent into the business via email, phone, or Facebook after the weekly menu is posted. 

Mason Kisamore, owner of Mason Kisamore Family Farms LLC, is also a Haymaker Market vendor who sells meats and eggs. Kisamore explained the community and businesses are “doing as well as can be expected for something like this.” 

Kisamore said each vendor has little hand-to-hand transaction and most products are placed in the trunk or the backseat of someone’s vehicle so the customer doesn’t have to get out.  He believes this will help many local businesses in the long run due to the increase in first-time customers.

All vendors at the Haymaker Market wear gloves and masks to help decrease the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The market is open each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market makes improvements each week to increase the health and efficiency of the drive-thru. 

The Haymaker Market Board met and decided to extend their drive-thru market through May for the safety of the vendors and their customers. 

“Shop local,” said Kisamore. “Keep the market going!”

Theresa Lovrak covers downtown and construction. Contact her at tlovrak1@kent.edu.

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