The first Good2Grow Farmers Market, held at the Hope Mills Town Hall complex recently, was a rousing success.
One thing that certainly didn’t hurt was timing the first market with several other major town events that created a lot of foot traffic in the area. On the same day as the farmers market, the town held its annual hazardous waste collection and document shredding events for citizens, along with the annual litter sweep of area streets.
Chancer McLaughlin, development and planning administrator for the town, said there were some 17 vendors who took part in the farmers market.
While there was obviously an emphasis on produce and farm-grown products, McLaughlin noted there were also many vendors with handmade crafts.
Vendors offered a variety of items like farmraised pork products, goat cheese, handmade jewelry, strawberries, jalapeño jams and jellies, natural remedies, essential oils, candles, baked goods and even natural mosquito spray.
“Every vendor that was there was so excited (about) how it turned out,’’ Hope Mills Mayor Jackie Warner said. Many of the vendors sold out of the items they brought.
Warner was especially pleased with the family atmosphere of the event. “You saw kids running around, eating strawberries,’’ she said. “Parents were shopping. So much was going on.’’
Warner is hopeful that the event will continue to grow in popularity and add more vendors over time.
“The next one (June 1) will be the same Saturday as Pet Fest,’’ she said. “Pet Fest will be between Parks and Recreation and Town Hall. (The) farmers market will be in the area next to the ball fields.’’
McLaughlin said the market will continue through October, on the first Saturday of each month.
The fees for vendors are $50 to set up at the market every month or $20 if a vendor only wants to take part in the event one month.
The original deadline to submit information to become a vendor was April 26, but McLaughlin said that has been extended. Vendors can now apply as late as the day before the next event.
All application information and rules for being a vendor at the farmers market are on the town of Hope Mills website, www.townofhopemills.com.
For those who don’t have access to the internet, McLaughlin said you can stop by Town Hall at 5770 Rockfish Rd. during normal business hours and pick up a hard copy of the application and rules.
McLaughlin said organizers are working on getting a vendor that will sell fresh fish for the next market. They are also looking for more varieties of produce, including watermelons, more fruits, okra and other vegetables. He said a lot of the vegetable and fruit options will be dictated by what’s available during certain seasons of the year.
To contact McLaughlin with questions or concerns regarding the farmers market, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.