It was the second Friday in March, and Brittany Swartz was in typical whirlwind mode making sure everything was ready for the Farmers Market Oceanside the following morning. As manager of the popular Saturday morning event on Ocean Drive, it was Swartz who made sure all the i’s were dotted and t’s crossed.
For 12 years the open-air market sponsored by the Oceanside Business Association has been about more than shopping; it’s about seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and leaving with bags of fresh produce, homemade pies, pastries, pastas, salsas, sauces and a feeling of euphoria.
That Friday afternoon everything was going according to plan. Then the phone rang and Swartz was told that the city of Vero Beach had just banned large group gatherings.
The Farmers Market had been closed down, another victim of the coronavirus.
Wasting no time, Swartz began thinking about ways she could help the 40-plus local vendors stay in business.