We’ve come a long way baby. I am not going to talk about the year and all that we as a nation have had to overcome. I am going to talk about our close community and who has made our lives more fulfilling just by being around.
The Vendors—Did you know that almost a third of our vendors have been apart of the market since its inception eleven years ago? This is not a crafts market. You may find the occasional soap or other inedible item but rest assured it is made on a farm with farm fresh ingredients. This year, we managed to fit in thirty locally sourced vendors who were able to provide limitless healthy options when grocery stores were putting limits on how many eggs and how much meat you can buy. The only way to survive, is to depend on each other and know where your food comes from.
The Customers— Like a third of our vendors, I believe about a third of our customers have been attending the market since its inception. It took me two years to change my eating habits and I only visit a store now when I need the infamous toilet paper or lime juice. Our customers have battled inclement weather, location changes, and preorders to come out victorious with a smile and a full belly. As we try to thank everyone weekly for shopping with us, I want to take this opportunity to genuinely say, Thank you. Our customers matter and we know that all these shifts have not been easy. We sent out a customer survey a couple weeks back and are still open to your input until the end of November. PLEASE FILL OUT THIS SURVEY and help us be a better market. Again, thank you.
Chattanooga Brewing—After several moves over the decade, the market has found a new welcoming space that greets us each week like the rubenesque aunt covered in flour hugging us as soon as we walk in the door. There are so many obvious reasons to be thankful for Chattanooga Brewing but for the market, there is so much love beyond that. Because of them, the market never shut down. Never. As we bloomed in our eleventh season, Chattanooga Brewing helped us keep our year long, weekly market fully operational and therefore allowed local, sustainable food to reach the mouths that needed it. Doing that, they not only fed the community, they kept more than two dozen small businesses in business. If that isn’t reason enough to support them, I don’t know what is. Even if you don’t drink, their pickle plate or cheeseburger is pretty amazing and they have the best fries in town.
If you have not found the time to shop the market, the times they are a changing (as we are about to go to winter hours) so see if you can swap your Wednesday schedule at least once a month to support an amazing, community-focused, food-focused event. Your belly will thank you. Your family will thank you. And we thank you 😉