Olde Brethren Farmers Market Ends Inaugural Season
Market at South Water Street Church plans to return in 2013
Denny Fox is happy with the inaugural season of the Olde Brethren Farmers Market, Kent's second open-air farm market, which held its last market of the season this week.
Fox said vendor turnout was about what he expected with an average of 12 to 15 each Monday afternoon.
"I wish it were better," he said. "We have room for about 30."
Bill Zenz, of Cuyahoga Falls, was one of those regular vendors. He also attends markets in Brimfield, Tallmadge and his hometown.
"We need more vendors, we need more customers," Zenz said of the Olde Brethren Market. "I'm coming back. We just had people last week showing up who never knew we were here. It should increase in vendors and customers next year."
Fox said he thought customer turn out was pretty good for the market's first year with little publicity.
"It's hard to say because we didn't know what to expect," Fox said. "We had a good flow of traffic. The worst problem we had was that often times we didn't have vendors with the produce people were expecting yet. You're pretty much at the grace of what grew at what time, and the growing season this year was very poor."
Leonard Ginther, of Kent, was another regular vendor. He sets up shop to sharpen knives, blades and other tools for customers at the market. Like Zenz, he attends other markets including in Stow and Cuyahoga Falls.
"It's a start-up season," Ginther said. "It was slow most of the time. It had good days and bad days. I think it has potential, and I wanted to be on the ground floor of it. My intention is to be back next year."
Fox said next year they plan to plant a little earlier to make sure there's good variety at the church market table early in the season.
The market will be back on Mondays starting at 4 p.m. like this year.
"The overall big picture is that people have appreciated it," Fox said. "We've learned a lot of the local residents around here have been coming. There's several that walk from this neighborhood. You'll see them walking up through the field with their dogs, and that's what we really were looking to gain was some service to the neighborhoods. And we did accomplish that."
"We thank everybody for the support," he said. "It's been an interesting year, and we've had fun doing it."