Downtown Farmers Market a growing success

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(Downtown Farmers Market)

Local artisans and vendors excited by turnout

“We are very excited with the success of our first two weeks. There’s lots of foot traffic which is a good sign,” says Matt McPherson owner of the building and lot at 135 E. Florida (corner of Florida Avenue and Harvard Street), in Hemet. “We also have restroom facilities and other markets don’t offer that. We’re also looking at changing our hours to accommodate even more patrons.”

The entire lot and both corners were covered with vendors selling specialties from food to handmade soaps to quilts, handmade knitted items and even hand-honed walking sticks.

“We are very happy with our sales and with the exposure that we’ve been getting for our soap products,” said Carrie Coelho of Bad Cat Creations, adding, “We will soon be adding a line of body lotions to our family of handmade products.”

Katie-Jane Martinez, owner of Loopy Jones designs, handmade crocheted products, is just as excited. “This has been a very positive experience. We’re actually trying to branch out into new markets by bringing in new items, especially those for little children. Our sales have been very brisk and, because we are local artisans and work year ’round, we are able to switch products from season to season and holiday to holiday to holiday.” Martinez adds that owner McPherson has very accommodating. “Matt has been very cooperative and has gone out of his way to make this a success.”

Walking the rows and rows of stalls one sees a very impressive array of artisans and local business owners. “Ours was a short but hard learning curve,“ said Drew and Michelle Thomas of Stoic Woodcraft. “We began by doing hand-painted signs, but they didn’t sell well,” said Drew, adding “we studied, viewed videos and before long, my wife and I knew how to specially prep and paint these ferring strips to give them what I call a, “battle worn” look. Most everything we do now is special order.” Wife Michelle adds, “My husband works on all the flags and I do all of the specialty collectibles and wall and door plaques.“

For Marsha of SOAPossible, soap-making is as much a family business as it is a learning tool. “We home-school our children, and making soap is learning tool for our two girls, Lana and Audrey. Making soap teaches them chemistry, weights & measures, temperatures and mathematics. It’s a family tradition, a family business and a teaching opportunity all in one.”

Those interested in vending or attending may contact the Market at 951 315-7914

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