The Walsworth Community Center farmers’ market and small business incubator has been growing since it opened April 10.
Jane Spencer, committee chairman of the farmers’ market, is helping small businesses thrive in Marceline with this cost effective way to promote their business.
According to Spencer, the farmers’ market is giving exposure to the businesses.
“These businesses are gaining an audience,” Spencer said. “These people may not buy anything immediately, but if they pick up a business card they may purchase something next time.”
The farmers’ market and small business incubator had been an idea within the community center for about a year. The center started planning for the first farmers’ market in March. The first framers’ market was April 10 and had one booth. Since then the market has blossomed to as many as 17 booths just two weeks later. Spencer hopes to keep the farmers’ market an ongoing event in Marceline.
Dennis Van Dyke, Walsworth Community Center chairman, says they want to encourage business growth.
“We hope that this event will give these businesses the amount of support that they may be able to open a storefront someday,” Van Dyke said.
For a $5 deposit, small businesses can have a table at the market to sell their goods. Nonprofit organizations can get a table for free. Many businesses focus on arts and crafts and handmade items. Outside of the center a couple food vendors will set up, as well. Spencer hopes to have local farmers at the event once their crops are harvested.
Small business owner Natalie Butler has been coming since the farmers’ market opened. She makes garments, scarves and other knitted items by hand at her house in Lake Nehai.
For Butler, the timing makes the farmers’ market worthwhile.
“I usually do arts and crafts shows in St. Louis, Kansas City, even in Iowa,” Butler said. “Those shows are usually on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. This is on a Tuesday. It works much better with my schedule.”
Earl Keune started setting up a booth at the market a few weeks ago. He makes handmade instruments in his home by repurposing materials. The instruments are made out of dog bowls, cake pans and even one guitar made out of a toilet seat cover.
For Keune, the price for a booth is unbeatable.
“The price is right, for $5 you can’t beat that,” Keune said.
The farmers’ market is free for patrons and will keep running every Tuesday at the Walsworth Community Center year-round. The farmers’ market opens at 4 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m.