Olentangy Valley News

Vendors many, varied at Powell farmers market

2014 version kicks off May 10, will run through Oct. 11

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The Greater Powell Area Chamber of Commerce has cultivated a healthy crop of vendors as it enters its third year running the city's farmers market.

Chamber Executive Director Nancy Buckley said the first market organized by the group in 2012 started with five vendors.

"This year we're starting with close to 20," she said.

The market will be open from 9 a.m. to noon every Saturday from May 10 to Oct. 11 in the rear parking lot at 50 S. Liberty St. The market will take a one-week break June 28, the second day of the Powell Festival.

The chamber took over organization of the weekly event in 2012 from Historic Downtown Powell, moving the weekly event from Thursday afternoons to Saturday mornings. Buckley said residents are starting to identify the market with the chamber.

"The community is more and more aware of us having this farmers market to the point where people will actually call and ask when we're starting," she said.

Buckley said vendors will alternate in and out during the market season, bringing everything from produce and baked goods to earthworm compost kits. All items for sale at the market must be homegrown or homemade, according to market guidelines.

All of this year's vendors are from within a 65-mile radius of the city of Powell.

Along with the group of vendors, Buckley said the market also has grown in attendance in the past two years. She attributes this in part to area residents discovering the market while exercising downtown.

"Definitely it has grown in foot traffic," she said. "We have a community that loves to walk and ride their bikes."

Buckley said one of the hopes the chamber has for the market is for it to become a small-business booster.

"We try to encourage people to stay for lunch and shop at local businesses," she said.

Buckley said some downtown businesses are even opening early on market days in an attempt to draw in some of the event's traffic.

After a rough winter, Buckley said the first few markets might be sparse as far as fruits and vegetables are concerned. Still, she said she did not want to cancel any of the dates that already had been announced.

The market season was extended last year with a special pre-Thanksgiving weekend market. Buckley said the chamber would consider hosting that event again if there was enough interest from vendors.

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