As Main Street in Groveport fills with traffic for the Tuesday afternoon drive home from work, many commuters are making a summer pit stop.
The Groveport Farmers Market, located in the green space between Groveport Town Hall and Ace Hardware, 726 Main St., has been drawing bigger crowds since it opened May 30 under new leadership at a new location.
Bruce Jarvis, a Canal Winchester city councilman and retired information technology manager, hopes to take advantage of the popularity of locally grown produce and goods and turn the farmers market into a well-known summer destination.
The market, which currently features as many as 16 vendors, is open every Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 26.
"People are just getting off work, and they come down to the market," Jarvis said. "So far, the community has been very supportive.
"I think we've got some quality vendors, not only seasonal produce but also handmade items. We've got some of the early crops coming in, but corn and tomatoes and other big stuff is yet to come."
One vendor who sells beef even brings in his own generator, Jarvis said.
Groveport's farmers market has been around for 13 years at different sites throughout the city, including the Groveport Recreation Center and Groveport Elementary School. However, the locations away from high-traffic areas led to smaller crowds.
"It's really been a great asset, and it only continues to grow," Mayor Lance Westcamp said. "People who live close by are even walking over. The Main Street location really seems to work well."
Jarvis has past experience with farmers markets. As the former director of Main Street Canal Winchester, which eventually became Destination: Canal Winchester, he oversaw the Canal Winchester Farmers Market, which is open from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays near Stradley Park, 36 S. High St.
He had to give up that post when he ran for a seat on Canal Winchester City Council.
"I really enjoyed that part of the job, and I never expected to have another opportunity to be involved in a farmers market," he said. "When I heard Groveport was interested in starting another one, it was something I really wanted to do."
Farmers markets have surged in popularity since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began collecting information in 1994. It's estimated more than 3 million consumers shop at farmers markets.
The buy-local movement has given farmers, bakers and others a venue to sell goods, Jarvis said.
To sell, vendors must follow guidelines set by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Ohio law has two categories of regulation that include baked goods: cottage food regulations and home bakery.
"It's an ever-changing market for us," Jarvis said. "There are some anchor vendors who will be here all season long. Others come in for a few weeks, and they roll off. If you go to the market one week, it's going to be different the next week."