Troutman Farmers Market set to open May 2
BY DEBBIE PAGE
Fifteen people attended a prospective vendors meeting for this season’s Troutman Farmers Market on Tuesday evening at the ESC Park pavilion. Past participants also got a chance to provide feedback on last season and present new ideas for the upcoming season.
Town of Troutman intern Shannon Reidlinger, who will manage the weekly event this year, said that the market will open on Tuesdays, beginning May 2, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the pavilion.
Several vendors questioned why the market did not open on Thursdays this year, but feedback and competition for vendors from the well-established Thursday night Pecan Park Farmer’s Market in Statesville led to the decision to open only on Tuesdays this year.
The town is assigning the seven tables under the pavilion on a first-come, first-serve basis. Individual spaces will also be assigned to promote continuity for customers and vendors. Vendors will also be required to display a card on their tables showing that they are registered with the town.
Only vendors who sell produce or products that they themselves grow or make are allowed to sell at the market. Resellers are prohibited in order to promote the grow, buy, and eat local philosophy of the market.
The town will promote the market through its Facebook pages, electronic sign, banners at several locations coming into town, the newsletter, the town calendar, and through local media outlets. They will also produce flyers for venders to pass out at other markets promoting the Troutman Farmers Market.
Venders also gave several suggestions to improve interest and foot traffic in the Troutman location. Several suggested recruiting local musicians to provide music to draw customers. One vender, who is a chef, offered to do cooking demos using the produce and products being sold at the market.
Others suggested promoting a vender profile on the Facebook pages each week. Another idea was for town employees to visit local venders to video their farms or products being made to provide virtual tours for potential customers. One vender also offered to promote other vendors and the market on her farming blog.
Vendors also requested that “Farmers Market Today” signs be put out very early on market days so that passersby would be reminded to stop in after work or picking up their kids at school.
Five vendors, two of whom were new, have already registered, and many venders were registering after the meeting with town staff.