Carrollton’s midweek market a success

Published 9:23 pm Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Carrollton residents no longer have to wait until the weekend to stock up on fresh goods.

The Smithfield Farmers Market on Saturdays has been a main attraction in the area for the last 15 years. However, in 2013, a midweek farmers market sprouted in Carrollton.

The midweek market “doesn’t feel like it has to be an all-day event,” said Hailey Joyce, a volunteer at the Friends of the Carrollton Library tent, who said the Smithfield farmers market can be intimidating for those who want to get a taste of marketing in such a venue.

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Cheryl Ketcham, manager of Smithfield Farmers and Vintage Markets, said the midweek market was designed to be more convenient for Carrollton residents.

In the past, residents would run out of produce during the week and had to wait until the weekend to stock up. The midweek market, which is located at the Old Point National Bank on Carrollton Boulevard, is also a more convenient location for Carrollton residents.

The Smithfield market typically has more than 60 vendors in attendance, while Carrollton offers just under 20 vendors. However, the midweek market’s smaller scale doesn’t affect the quality of products and goods available.

“It’s a smaller market, but with all the essentials,” Ketcham said.

The products available range from fruits and vegetables to seafood and baked goods. In addition, the Friends of Carrollton Library and AmeriCare Plus were also in attendance this week.

Vendors feel the market has benefited their respective businesses.

“There is a good turnout, and we have a lot of returning customers,” said Donald Sullars, owner of Homeplace Farm and Garden.

The general consensus among the vendors was that residents love fresh products.

“I love getting fresh local food and supporting local farmers and businesses,” said Susan Fowlkes, a market attendee. “I’ve never been disappointed.”

The Carrollton market is set conclude on Aug 30. But, Ketcham said that there are one-day farmers markets offered in the fall and winter.

The Autumn Vintage and Evening Christmas markets are expected to attract more than 150 vendors and 7,000 attendees. Main Street in Smithfield will be shut down for both markets.

For the Evening Christmas market, in addition to the vendors, there will be a Christmas parade and activities available for all to enjoy.

“The markets have grown over the years, and people are asking for more,” Ketcham said.

In the meantime, vendors hope the markets keep running for years to come.

“Everybody is helping everybody,” said Maurice Autry, owner of Big Daddy Barbecue.