For the first time in recent Caledonia history, last Saturday nearly a dozen vendors set up shop in the town square.
Among the options were handcrafted jewelry, fresh produce straight from the source and home decorations that you won’t find at your typical home goods store. While some hailed in from Columbus, many of these vendors call Caledonia home. And now each Saturday from June through September, these vendors, among others, will be selling their products at the Caledonia Farmer’s Market.
Caledonia Mayor April Morrison said in the first installment of the farmer’s market, roughly 11 vendors were in attendance in addition to about 100 different people stopping by to see what was being offered. And this is just the beginning, said Morrison. The farmer’s market is still accepting new vendor applications and these applications come at no cost to the vendor.
Each week, the farmer’s market will be set up at 110 Marion St. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday. The idea was born after Morrison recognized many businesses in Caledonia were closing down, or struggling to stay open. She wanted to find a way to support these businesses while also highlighting new businesses looking to find solid footing.
“Caledonia has sort of dwindled; we’ve lost some businesses and I thought maybe this might be a way to get the community back together,” Morrison said.
With COVID-19 restrictions being lessened, she felt comfortable with moving forward with the project. And since then, she’s been adding vendors to the list with hopes of seeing that total continue to rise. Most recently, Marion businesses like Your CBD Store, a CBD store located at the Servex Centre, have been added to the slate of vendors.
For Jennifer Law, who was at the first week of the farmer’s market with her business J. Law & Co., she’s excited for the opportunity to bring her store to people. She specializes in handmade goods like jewelry as well as home and holiday decorations.
By using uncommon material such as wood and faux leather to craft earrings, she wants to provide women with options that make them feel confident about themselves without having to shell out too much money. She said growing up, she often had to get crafty with her accessories due to money being tight and she sees her business venture as a way to give back to those who are in a similar situation.
“My heart, intentions and goal is to bring those things to the people in the community at a lower cost which is why I make everything from scratch,” Law said. “And with high quality. I want the heart of the high quality things at the lowest cost I can provide.”
Law also prefers to stay busy and not held down to one spot for too long. Her schedule at the Caledonia Farmer’s Market is once a month, but she can be found at other farmer’s and crafter’s market in Ohio.
There’s also Grace LeMasters, who at just 16-years-old is already dipping her toes into the entrepreneur waters. She recently opened up her baked goods business and plans to use the farmer’s market as a place to get started and build up her client base.
LeMasters said it was a spur of the moment decision. She’s always had an interest in baking after her grandmother taught her the ropes. But in 2019 her grandmother passed away and LeMasters took a break from baking. It wasn’t until she heard about the farmer’s market that she decided to test her luck.
On the Friday before the first market, LeMasters said she was in the kitchen from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. cranking out baked goods. This includes banana bread, cookies and even dog treats. Since she makes all of her items purely from scratch, she said the process is time consuming; but something she enjoys.
These efforts paid off big for the young business owner. Within an hour and a half of the farmer’s market opening, LeMasters said she was already sold out of all of her goods. And with another farmer’s market taking place on Saturday, she’s eager to get back out there and sell out once again.
If someone is interested in becoming a vendor at the Caledonia Farmer’s Market, visit their Facebook page where a link for applications is available.
Story by Mitch Hooper | (740)-244-9935 | email@example.com | @_MH16 on Twitter
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