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Business is back at Lincoln Farmer’s Markets, supporting community and local businesses

10/11 NOW at 10 Sunday
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 10:13 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Pasta maker Jill Rodgers couldn’t keep her pesto sauce and colored fettuccini stocked fast enough at the Sunday Farmer’s Market in the College View neighborhood.

“It’s better than last year,” Rodgers said. “I didn’t do all of the markets; I joined later in July but it was pretty slow and difficult, but it’s getting better.”

Rodgers said she knows of some vendors who stopped selling altogether because of the pandemic, but as her business Capo Di Tutto pasta has been her labor of love for 25 years, she persevered.

“I started this as a fluke in college to make a little extra money in the summers and it turned out I loved it,” Rodgers said. “I love to talk to people, I love the dogs, I love trading with other vendors.”

The market manager, Lindsey Weber Riskowski said the last three weeks the market has been open have been a welcome change to where business was a year ago.

“We saw a huge downturn during COVID-19,” Weber Riskowski said. “Our vendors were hurting but they fought through and they’re back.”

Not only is the business back, so is the community atmosphere.

“It’s wonderful.” Weber Riskowski said. “I think people are so hungry to get out and do things. Hungry not just in their bellies but because they want food but just to have that social interaction.”

COVID-19 precautions are still in place. Guests and vendors are asked to wear masks and social distance and vendors booths are spread further apart to help prevent crowds.

However, other restrictions are dropping as vaccination rates go up. Weber Riskowski said they’re bringing yoga classes and live music back to the markets and customers can eat on site again.

The market will run every Sunday until Halloween from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They accept SNAP and the Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program. For more information on both of those programs and the market itself, go to the website.

Weber Riskowski said in the three weeks they’ve been open they’re already back to where they were in 2018 and 2019.

Rodgers said it’s exactly what she’s been missing.

“It’s just fun to see everyone back and happy and out,” Rodgers said. “We were so stuck in for a while that it’s wonderful to be outside again in a crowd, even though it’s a distant crowd.”

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