By Julie Perine
July 01, 2014
Seven weeks into its sixth season, Bridgeport Farmers Market has grown its biggest following yet. So far, it's been a record year in terms of customer count and sales – not to mention vendors, demos and picture perfect weather.
"While it is very difficult to do an exact customer count we think we average 800 – 1,000 people each Sunday," said BFM President Debbie Workman. "Parking is becoming a premium. We see new people coming through every week. Hotel guests walk over through the adjacent field."
The market is held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays on the market grounds in Charles Pointe, in close proximity to Bridgeport Conference Center, the Microtel and Wingate hotels.
In addition to vendor offerings, the BFM features a weekly brunch, which has traditionally been prepared by Fish Hawk Acres and Bridgeport Conference Center. New on board with brunch offerings is the Hash Browns New Grounds Food Truck, owned and operated by Bridgeport's Cody Thrasher. June 29 was Thrasher's BFM debut.
"The food truck was a huge hit! Cody shopped the market vendors afterwards and plans to use local product in his menus throughout the summer," Workman said. "All of our brunch vendors sold out this past Sunday so the addition actually helped everyone." A fourth dining tent has been added to accommodate the expanded brunch, Workman said.
The Market has been able to feature a chef's demo nearly every Sunday. The demo has featured local chefs from throughout the area – Bridgeport, Weston, Buckhannon, Morgantown and Elkins, included.
"They all shop the market and use local products in their dish," Workman said. "The market invested in wireless microphones this year so the chefs can be heard throughout the market."
The Market averages 30 vendors, with a growing waiting list and will likely add 10 more small farmers as the season progresses, Workman said. A staple vendor for the past four years is Hollow Farm of Philippi, which offers organically-grown fruits and vegetables. The latest promo video being utilized by Bridgeport Farmers Market, this piece profiles the Market from that vendor's perspective and introduces the public to the practices and products of Mt. Hollow Farm. See it HERE.
Workman reminds the public that the Fourth Annual Country Roads Cook-Off will be held on Sunday, July 27 at the Market, closing out Bridgeport Restaurant Week and Jazz Expo.
Stay up to date on Bridgeport Farmers Market happenings at Bob Workman's "Let's Get Fresh" blog.