Where Y’Eat: For “Voice Activated” Shopping, Just Start Talking at the Farmers Market

Jan 17, 2019

Voice activation is said to be the next big tech trend for shopping. Just announce what you want, call it out into the ether, and if you have the right device set up you just bought it.

Sounds nifty, if maybe fraught with peril for the impulse buy.

 Well here’s the way I do voice activated ordering.

“These satsumas are from Plaquemines Parish? Thank you ma’am I’ll take a bag.”

Or here’s another one I’ve been working with lately: “Where did you catch these shrimp? Wow, that close? I’ll take two pounds please.”

This is ordering, by voice and actually in person, at farmers markets in New Orleans.

Yes, it’s the old fashion way. Buying food directly from the person who created it is as old fashioned as commerce gets.

To a cynic the farmers market model might even seem hopelessly out of date for the over-leveraged, tech-reliant lifestyle.

But I can’t be cynical when presented with the bounty of seafood and veggies and fruit and meat and cheese and bread I find at the farmers market, together with familiar New Orleans people with their babies and their dogs.  

That’s why I’ve been happy to report lately on how the Crescent City Farmers Market has been defying the naysayers. In fact, it just pulled off an unprecedented growth spurt.

It debuted three new markets since the start of January alone. That means it now has 7 markets over 5 days.

As a result, the number and diversity of vendors at the market is growing. And it means the map and schedule for these markets is more varied now too. You’ll find them in downtown, uptown, Mid-City, Bywater, Old Jefferson, Bucktown and Kenner. 

The market even has its own app now so you can order ahead of time.  But we know an app doesn’t make a market, What makes a market is people, and place, and the flavors and energy that come from their interplay.

You could even call them voice activated. Want proof? Just go to one and get New Orleans people talking about their food. The voices you hear will be active indeed.

Crescent City Farmers Market schedules
Uptown, 200 Broadway St., 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Bywater, Chartres at Piety street, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Ochsner, 2614 Jefferson Hwy. (at Ochsner Rehabilitation Center), 3 p.m.-7 p.m.

Mid-City, 3700 Orleans Ave., 3 p.m.-7 p.m.

Bucktown Harbor, 325 Metairie-Hammond Hwy., 3 p.m.-7 p.m.

Downtown, 750 Carondelet St., 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Rivertown (Kenner), Williams Blvd. at the river, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.