Winter farmers market
Vendors warming up to mall venue
Salsa. Sweater. Eggs. Earrings.
If your Saturday morning shopping list reads something like that, chances are you are headed for the farmers market at the Shops at Worthington Place.
The intermingling of shopping venues -- suburban mall and farmers market -- is proving to be a huge success for buyers and sellers as the community's indoor winter market moves into its third week at the mall.
Formerly in the Griswold Center, the winter market moved this season to Worthington Place. The new setting provides more space, more parking and an opportunity for shoppers to be introduced to the recently renovated mall.
Shoppers and vendors seem to like the change, even if the surroundings seem more suburban than rural.
Most of those selling their produce, farm-fresh eggs and meat and baked goods are set up along the north corridors at Worthington Place, but a few have been assigned stations inside the former Victoria's Secret store. The store closed years ago, but the carpet still is hot pink, and the walks have pink and white polka dots and gold flocking.
In an alcove once reserved for lingerie, vendor Jessica Beardsley now sells corn chips, crackers, beans and spelt bread from the Shagbark Seed Mill. The mill sells its wares at several farmers markets in central Ohio.
"It's definitely different than the parking lots I'm used to," she said. "It gets a little weird, but I'm open to new things."
Bob Hupp sells fresh candy from Gourmet Candy by Karen in the store. He likes the jokes, he said, and believes everyone is enjoying the new setting for the market.
"We have a lot more room, and I see a lot more customers," he said. "I bet the merchants aren't too upset about having these extra people in here."
Paula Deming brought her granddaughter in a stroller to the indoor market last Saturday. She could not have maneuvered in the Griswold Center. Even the outdoor summer market in downtown Worthington gets too crowded, she said.
At the mall, shoppers stop and chat and enjoy the ambiance without tying up foot traffic.
"This is a huge blessing for our community to have the mall open itself up to us," she said. "All in all, I think the winter farmers market is the best thing that has happened in Worthington in a long time."
Hours of the indoor market are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday until spring. The market will not be held Saturday, Nov. 24, two days after Thanksgiving.