‘Advantageous’ move to Charles Pointe

Bridgeport Farmers Market officials pleased with turnout so far

The Exponent Telegram

May 21, 2012

By       Sarah Moore

BRIDGEPORT – After only two weeks, organizers of the Bridgeport Farmers Market are pleased with the new crowd the Charles Pointe location has attracted.

Prior to this year, the Sunday market was held in the parking lot of Bridgeport High School.  It is now set up in a parking lot just off Eddington Drive in Charles Pointe.

“The school was great to us and was awesome to work with.  Our move was about seeking an opportunity to grow,” market President Tim Brady said.

Brochures at local hotels, signs along the road, the colorful display of tents and the smell of cooking food have attracted a variety of people from surrounding areas.

“The proximity to the residential areas of Charles Pointe has been advantageous for us.  We are seeing people we have never seen prior to this year,” Brady said.

Among those browsing Sunday was Lucy Taylor, pushing her 6-month old daughter, Amelia, in a stroller.

She saw the market from her home a few streets away and packed the stroller for a walk in the 80-degree weather to check it out.

Philippi’s Christina Adams, along with her daughter, Katrina Johnson, and grandson, Dillion Johnson, was traveling on Interstate 79 and stopped for gasoline at Charles Pointe.

“We saw the signs and decided to stop and see what they had,” Adams said while sampling a product made by one of the vendors.

Although the location and setup have changed, the market itself has not.

As many vendors, if not more, are setting up booths to promote and sell their products and services.

During this time of year, some of the most common seasonal items are flowers and vegetable plants.  Fresh produce will come later, Secretary/Treasurer Debbie Workman explained.

Other booths sell jellies, jams, baked goods and produce, such as eggs, meats and cheeses.

Sunday Brunch is prepared by Dale Hawkins, chef and owner of Fish Hawk Acres in Rock Cave, from produce sold by vendors.

The menu varies from week to week because items sold by vendors vary as well.

The standard menu option, the omelet, is sold each Sunday and made to order in front of the customer from fresh eggs.  The selection of ingredients changes, however, depending on what’s available.

“We have a veritable plethora each week,” Hawkins said.

Frank and Liz Abruzzino of Hawthorne Valley Farm in Clarksburg think the move

was a success.  They have been selling their grass-fed beef and homegrown vegetables at the Bridgeport Farmers Market for several years.

“It’s good to see new faces,” Liz said.

“The new location is like a little village instead of just a row of vendors,” Frank added.

Lumberport’s Debbie Merritt, owner of Garden of Eatin’, was a first-time vendor in Bridgeport Sunday.  She sells homemade baked goods and crafts.

“I have done very well here,” she said.

She plans to continue setting up at the Charles Pointe location, but hopes organizers consider using more signs.

“I don’t think it’s marked well.  I think more signs would attract more people.  Even I had trouble finding it today because that building blocks the view,” she said, pointing at the large brick building between the market and W.Va. 279.