LOOK What's going on at our First Market! LOVELY... Still here until 2 PM today.
I have been remiss this week to post regularly. I am deeply sorry. We have just been so busy getting everything in order, just like many of you are busy with the growing season in full swing. (I do hope you are keeping all those plants well watered in this heat!)
What I can say is that we updated the floor plans so that the space numbers are (hopefully) legible from the website. We are continuing with getting estimates for the work to be completed, updating the site as things come up, answering emails, and compiling the Vendor Guidelines - which will be available soon.
Most importantly is that we are researching possible retailers & vendors. The Valley has so much to offer!
Stay tuned for updates.
I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend. (And a tremendous thank you to all our Veterans out there.) We took a bit of a break, but not much of one honestly. Even when we were doing something completely un-related to getting this new market started, our conversations seemed to revolve around spreading the vision, or discussing the logistics of managing a year-round retail space.
Within two hours of launching the web site, and our Facebook page (search for Mount Jackson Farmers Market LLC), we had three retail inquiries. Over the weekend we received several more.
Yesterday, while visiting a friend's pick-you-own garden, we met an independent film producer. As we got to know each other, the idea of filming a documentary about the birth of a farmers' market, and the revitalization of a community. (We are in a vibrant and community in terms of people, but frankly, like every small town, we could use a few more shopfront businesses.) Again, no promises, but it is exciting to discuss the possibilities.
Today, there was a call from one of the local newspapers. Look for the story this week!
Apart from this, good business plans need goals and benchmarks. Our current goal is to secure $80k for necessary upgrades to make the building safe and inviting to the public and the retailers. (We are definitely interested in entertaining discussions with a local community investor or two.)
What has been most exciting is to have received overwhelming encouragement and support in such a short period of time. It's been said that it takes a community to raise a child - in this case, it will take a community to raise an exciting business that will serve both the local retailers and farmers, as well as the customers.
Onward and upward!
So...You know the "Where" and "What" by now, but I have been getting tons of questions about Who and When. That's encouraging. The whole community seems very excited about this project!
The idea for a Farmers Market in the heart of Mount Jackson, specifically in this building, came years ago. Just like "slow food", the fruition of ideas also take time. A few months ago, something began to happen ... it seemed like NOW was the time.
On Friday, several weeks of negotiations were complete with the sellers (a very nice local couple, who are as excited about this as we are), and the contract was signed. An hour later, a letter of intent was sent to the Town; an hour after that, press release was sent to the papers; then the website (www.mjfarmersmarkets.com) launched; and finally our Facebook page went live (search for Mount Jackson Farmers Market). Not to mention all the phone calls to set times to meet with various trades who will be doing work on the building. What an exciting Friday afternoon before a three-day weekend! (Thanks to all our Vetrans who have served our country.)
What: Well, there is a LOT that has to happen in a short amount of time. However, beginning on or about July 1, we plan to lease 10' x 10' outdoor spaces on Wednesdays (Noon to 6 PM) and Saturdays (8 AM to 12 noon). Now, this ain't too fancy right now, so bring your own table and tent. ;-)
In regards to the WHO: We are taking vendor applications now. The best way to contact us right now is through filling out the form. We will email you information as it becomes available.
Wow! This is going to be a wonderful journey for everyone involved! We really look forward to meeting you, whether you come by to visit the market, or become a retailer or vendor.
SEE YOU SOON!