C-Street Markets opening day lures shoppers
The smell of freshly baked breads, decadent sweets and just-picked coffee beans filled the air as people browsed the booths at Saturday's opening day of C-Street Market.
Beautiful weather made the day even more perfect for the occasion. "It's springtime, it's a gorgeous day and the farmer's market is a perfect place to be," Laura Glynn of Springfield said. "There's a lot of unique items and the market looks great this year. Plus, it's a wonderful way to support the community."
More than a dozen vendors sold items ranging from handmade jewelry and potted plants to baked goods and "smudge" - vendor Debbie Christman term for her sheep's milk fudge.
"It's been great," Carolyn Elder, market chair for the C-Street Market, said. "The weather is perfect and we've had a steady crowd all morning."
There was also a great response to starts of native trees being given away, Elder said. January's ice storm left many north-side residents with severely damaged trees.
Askinosie Chocolate, a new company on Commercial Street, sold cocoa hull mulch made from the cocoa hull remains produced during the chocolate-making process.
"I can't believe the mulch smells so much like chocolate," Sean Glynn said as he was buying some. "It's pretty amazing."
Other items of interest on the street Saturday morning included homemade soaps and lotions, handcrafted knives, Indian jewelry, dozens of different flavored baked breads and a number of sinful sweets.
"I especially love all the homemade breads and baked goods," said Sarah LaBelle, who was at the C-Street Market with her children.
Jennifer and Brian King were also out enjoying the C-Street Market on Saturday.
"This is awesome," Jennifer King said. "It's great to see this kind of activity on Commercial Street. I think it's helping other businesses come to life."
Business people on the street agreed as shops like Eclectic Antiques and M.J.'s Flea Market saw more business Saturday morning because of the market.
"I think it helps bring people to the businesses down here," Ed Waterman at Eclectic Antiques said. "It's brought quite a few people in today."
Marlene Klimer at M.J.'s Flea Market said her store was also busier.
"I definitely think the C-Street Market helps get people downtown," she said. "That's good because we need all the traffic we can get."
Elder said the market fits in with an overall goal of making Commercial Street more of a destination area, complete with live music and entertainment.
Market vendors also enjoyed the business. Laura Leigh Potter, who runs Juni Blue's Baked Goodies, sold out of most of her breads and desserts before 10 a.m.
"The apple and cherry tarts went like crazy," she said. "So did the muffins and the cinnamon rolls. It's very encouraging to be selling this much, especially since I've never been a vendor before."
New and old vendors alike were making good at the first C-Street Market of the season.
Earl Hackett of KanHackIt Kitchen said,"We've been here in the past and we're back again this year. It's always a good time."