Organizers say move helping farmers market

The Bridgeport News

Thursday, May 24, 2012

By:      Sarah Moore

Two weeks into their spring/summer season, organizers of the Bridgeport Farmers Market say the move to Charles Pointe has been a success.

Prior to this year, the market was held on Sundays in the parking lot of Bridgeport High School.

It is now set up in a parking lot just off Eddington Drive in Charles Pointe, which is helping to attract more people.

“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.

But the move hasn’t been without some complaints.  Some city residents have voiced their displeasure with the move, while at least one vendor was upset there wasn’t more signage to alert potential customers of the location.

“I don’t think it’s marked well,” said Debbie Merritt, owner of Garden of Eatin’.  “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.

Still, the Lumberport resident, a first-time vendor on Sunday, said she will be back with her homemade baked goods and crafts.

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

Other vendors were pleased with the move.

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 Abruzzino said.

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

Among shoppers 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.

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.

The market is held each Sunday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.