Patterson Farm Market creates strawberry drive-thru, sells other growers’ products
By Natalie Anderson
MOUNT ULLA — Though many local events have been canceled or moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic, Patterson Farm Market and Tours is giving locals a sense of normalcy to celebrate as it continues to provide fresh produce — and now, its popular fresh strawberries.
Despite COVID-19, the market is still offering fresh produce and strawberries. While customers can visit the market in-person to make purchases, they now have the option to order their goods online at shoppattersonfarm.com and pick up their order curbside.
“I’m grateful I can keep people working during this time and provide produce and other things,” said co-owner Michelle Patterson.
The market, located at 10390 Caldwell Road in Mount Ulla, usually hosts field trips for schools during the spring. But for the last week, the farm has been meeting a need for meat and produce in the community.
Patterson said the market is also helping other local farmers who may have trouble moving products. For example, Patterson Farms has been selling lettuce and asparagus for Seven Sisters Farm of Davidson County. Additionally, the Pattersons have been selling cheese from Luther Ridge Farm.
“(We farmers) are all about trying to help each other through this time,” she said.
And the market is adhering to social distancing guidelines by requiring customers to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from one another, encouraging employees and customers to wear face masks and limiting crowds at the market. Hand sanitizer is available for use at the check-out registers, and the market has removed the need for signatures on debit or credit card purchases as an extra safety precaution.
Implementing an online store was a winter initiative, Patterson said, intended for the sale of jams and jellies in the off-season. But the pandemic allowed the farm and market to add produce to its online store.
She added that, while the pick-your-own strawberry service isn’t offered right now, the market has plenty of space to spread customers out if they decide to allow it. She said offering that service will depend on Gov. Roy Cooper’s three-phrase plan to reopen businesses.
“We’re grateful for the community support and thankful that they’re patronizing us,” Patterson said. “We want to do whatever it takes to do everything possible (for people) at this time.”
Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.
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