WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield Farmers market kicked off the season a month early last weekend with online ordering and contact-free pickup. Four produce vendors and one winery took part in the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s first social distancing shopping experience.

“The line went very smoothly as we had board members volunteering along with the GWACC liaison from the Westfield town council, Scott Katz,” said Gene Jannotti, CEO of the GWACC.

“​We were pleasantly surprised on how smoothly it went. Our first week was a great success.” said Chris Devine, who runs the market with his wife, Lisa. “We had over 200 orders from approximately 120 customers. This far exceeded our expectations based on feedback we received from other virtual markets.”

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The market will continue to add vendors as the season progresses, Devine said. Next week, La Bon Bake Shoppe will enter the lineup, and a Butter Life Bakery and Unique Snacks of America are lined up for the near future.

To shop the market, customers can place their orders and pay at https://mycommunitymarketplace.com/westfield-farmers-market/, then pick their items up at designated times on Saturday morning at the Westfield Train Station.

In keeping with social distancing guidelines, pickup is by car only. Orders must be placed by 11:59 p.m. Thursday for the next Saturday’s pickup, organizers said.

“We ask customers to please bring a sheet of paper with their last name and vendors they ordered from written in letters large and heavy enough to be seen from several feet,” Devine said. “This is in addition to their invoice.” 

He thanked customers for their overwhelming response in support of the farmers and vendors.

“Look for a larger array of products from our farmers as their growing season blooms,” Devine said.