Dear Market Patrons:
As many of you are aware, the Community Market has recently begun enforcing the 7:00 a.m. opening time on Saturday mornings. To review, our long-standing hours of operation from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. have not changed. However, the need to enforce these hours has become essential for many reasons. We would like to share some of these reasons below:
- Staffing – The market must be staffed appropriately when business transpires. The market does not currently have enough personnel to properly support earlier hours of operation nor do we have the additional funding necessary to support additional staff to be able to adequately run the market with additional hours.
- Customer Promise – The market must maintain its customer promise by being open for our posted hours of operation. Hours of operation are our way of communicating to patrons in a succinct way what they will find and when. The Lynchburg Community Market is home to a variety of businesses which include farmers, food artisans, artists, crafters, restaurants, and shops. This unique pairing of so many different types of local businesses under one roof is one of its beloved attributes. It is vital that we maintain this synergetic experience of having every type of business operate together.
- Best Business Practices – The decision to enforce the hours of operation was not decided in a vacuum. Discussions with city staff and leadership, as well as our market vendors, were held before the determination was made. We relied heavily on vendor input and experiences to make the best business decision. Research was also conducted on other farmer’s markets throughout the state to learn of their hours of operation and found that the majority of them are open at 8:00 a.m. or later. The Lynchburg Community Market is only one of four in the state to open at 7:00 a.m. We could not find any market in the state with earlier opening hours. This input further validated that in enforcing our hours, we would be operating similar to (or a little earlier than) our fellow farmers and patrons across the state.
We are very grateful for your loyalty and patronage. We take the position we hold in our City’s history and in the history that we have with so many of you who have bought, sold, and joined together here as a community very seriously. We make decisions with the belief and intent that we will continue to have an amazing market that is a mirror of the very best our region has to offer. We continue to evaluate the market after each season and will always look for ways to improve operations for the benefit of all.
We understand that these changes may not be ideal for some of you. However, we hope that you will understand that this decision to enforce the Saturday hours of operation is the very best business decision for the market, our vendors, and our patrons. Thank you for your continued support.
Jennifer Kennedy, Lynchburg Community Market Manager