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The market builds community

“I love this market because of the community of vendors,” Kelly said. “People are always willing to help out with a tent or a product idea.”

It's a cozy community of rain-or-shine vendors that have gone through a lot together this season.

Last week at the market a vendor came with new equipment for his booth. Alright, it was Nick Albano. His neighbor at the market, Chandler of BNutty, didn’t hesitate when he offered to help get the freezer out of the UHaul truck.

Later, as I was making my rounds around the market, another vendor said to me in a lower voice, “Did you know yesterday was Nick’s birthday?” No, I didn’t know! Chandler had brought Nick a pink sash to wear to celebrate. The vendors talk throughout the market, joking and discussing their businesses, and the network that is built is strong.

One vendor told me that his business started doing better when he took the suggestion of another vendor for a new product that he could offer. Another vendor still remembers the day the weather was bad and someone came and helped her with her blowing tent.

From left to right: Customers come out in the rain to support the market; shooting the breeze over produce tables; vendors stick together for shade, and then tear down together with music to make the work light.

More than one vendor calls each and every customer by name, and knows details of people’s life stories. All during market hours, you can hear people calling out to each other: “How did this or that go?” “How is your mother?” “Did you end up getting that job?” Etc, etc, etc.

Customers also learn about and care about the vendors. People know the names of the business owners who have grown the produce, or made the bread or the pizza or the pasta. They send me knowing smiles in the market tent, commenting on the personalities of vendors. More than gossip, these connections make our community stronger.

Here is what House of Rufus said about markets on their social media this month: “We are strong supporters of producer only vendors making their living bringing the fruits (veg, goods and breads!) of their labor to an accessible location within their community.

“This network not only enriches the lives of all involved it strengthens the local economy and the bond between providers and consumers.

“It's the simplest of concepts and the most rewarding of sustainable life practices.“

House of Rufus's Kate and Adam Brown attending to customers with a smile - because we all know each other and enjoy meeting at the market.

When you come the market, you not only support this community of vendors, but you strengthen the relationships across the entire community. We love seeing the community coming together at the market each week.

Find us this week and every week at our Wednesday market at the Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve Pavilion parking lot, April 20-November 2, 2022, from 3-7 PM. Check us out on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for our mailing list to get notified of all of the vendors' featured products each week.

Starting June 20, vote for the Coffee Creek Farmers Market as your favorite market and help us to win part of this year's $10,000 prize from American Farmland Trust and the Farmers Market Coalition! Click here to cast your vote for us and get a free No Farms No Food bumper sticker!

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