Halloween is over, the holiday season is just around the corner, and the Worthington Farmers Market will be outside all the time.
Worthington Farmers Market, located at the corner of High Street and East New England Avenue, kicked off a new season in time for the holidays on Saturday, with more than 70 farmers and food producers, including local businesses such as North delicatessen and Sweet Liberty Candy Company. The venue is the largest year-round market in central Ohio, with an average of 4,000 to 6,500 people every Saturday, said Christine Hawks, the market’s manager.
âOur mission is to promote and develop the local food industry by connecting local producers and artisan food producers with their surrounding community,â said Hawks. “It gives people a family experience every Saturday, and there is always something new and different to be had.”
Worthington Farmers Market is bustling with the Worthington Partnership, a nonprofit that aims to provide growth opportunities for small businesses, said Hawks.
âI think what we’ve definitely learned from this pandemic is that this is a community matter,â Hawks said. “It really is an interconnected experience.”
Jacqueline Bell, owner of Sweet Liberty Candy Company, is a first-time seller in the market and said she sells nine different types of nut treats at her home.
âAs a first-time seller, I’m looking to get into the community and be able to expand that market in the next season,â Bell said. “I want to continue to grow the business and get the word out.”
Bell said she started her business on September 14 and, according to her, Facebook page, she makes all of her nut chips in small batches with the best ingredients she can get her hands on.
âFor absolutely every bit of friability you have, the best goes in,â Bell said. âThe best ingredients, the best nuts, and I can tell you it’s the best thing ever. It’s spectacular and it deserves to be here.
Duncan Forbes, head of sales, marketing and business development for family-owned North Country Charcuterie, said he is returning to the market for the fifth time to offer hand-dried meats made with 95% ingredients local.
Forbes said being able to sell their products and interact with customers during the pandemic keeps him connected to the community.
âAt the height of the pandemic, it’s good to be able to safely go out into the farmers market and see people, which we might not necessarily be able to do on a regular basis,â Forbes said. âSince we’re a local business and source so many of our ingredients locally, it’s really important to maintain that presence and visibility in the farmers market. ”
Hawks said the Marketplace is a great way for vendors to build a cohesive customer base, and for people to support hard-working local businesses who are passionate about the products they create and the feedback they receive. .
âWe’re looking to encourage people to bypass a lot of the shortages, shipping delays, back orders, all by buying locally during these holiday markets,â Hawks said. “[Itâs about] avoid empty shelves, crowded malls, and Amazon experiences to support local producers and artisans here.
The Worthington Farmers Market launched its holiday market on Saturday and will run every Saturday through Dec. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon, with the exception of the weekend following Thanksgiving, Hawks said.