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Fresh Marketplace Farmers Market has robust 2017

Published: Sun, November 5, 2017 @ 12:03 a.m.

Staff report


The Fresh Marketplace Farmers Market, 129 Chestnut St., capped off a successful 2017 and is looking to expand its vendors next year.

Grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Market Promotional Program jump-started the season, boosting vendor sales more than 300 percent over 2016 with six times as many visitors.

Project co-managers Mary Capoferri and Parker Maynard, with the assistance of the Lawrence County Economic Development Corp., wrote and applied for the highly competitive USDA grant funding.

Fresh Marketplace was among just a small handful of farmer-market operations chosen nationally for funding.

The Fresh Marketplace team kicked off market preparations by hiring local project staff through internship programs at both Slippery Rock University and Westminster College.

Nicole Hunter and others designed and distributed printed marketing material, refreshed the market’s social media presence, wrote weekly press releases and created the “Fresh Fan” contact list. The Fresh Fan campaign creates a list of market followers through its Facebook page designed to reach out beyond New Wilmington.

The federal grant funding has helped the marketplace purchase amenities for its vendors. The current list of vendors sell a variety of goods, including fruits and vegetables, locally sourced meats, eggs and cheese, flowers and plants, locally made housewares, gifts, prepared foods and locally made agricultural products.

The marketplace expects to purchase more equipment next year that will benefit vendors and visitors.

Local musicians perform each week, and children activities director, Kimberly Winfield, makes certain children are kept busy with interesting and fun events hosted by local businesses.

If you are interested in becoming a vendor, contact market managers Mary Capoferri at capoferrim@aol.com or Parker Maynard at parker.maynard@yahoo.com.

To become a Fresh Fan, send a request through the Fresh Marketplace at New Wilmington Center Facebook page.

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