Folks in Short Pump area finally have a place to buy produce and artisan products locally. The new West End Farmers Market made its debut on Saturday to much fanfare. The new market, comprised of open space in front of the Ollie’s store at Ridgefield Parkway and Gayton Road, has space for about 40 vendors, […]
Folks in Short Pump area finally have a place to buy produce and artisan products locally. The new West End Farmers Market made its debut on Saturday to much fanfare. The new market, comprised of open space in front of the Ollie’s store at Ridgefield Parkway and Gayton Road, has space for about 40 vendors, most of which were filled.
The market, which will be open every Wednesday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until noon, brought out hundreds of curious locals who came to see what was being offered. But the visitors weren’t just looking, they were buying. All five of the vendors we spoke with reported great sales.
Workers at the booth of Cavanna Pasta, a specialty Italian take-and-bake retailer, made several runs to their storefront down the road in the John Rolfe Commons shopping center to re-stock after selling out of pasta at the market. Cavanna wasn’t alone. Many found themselves selling out of their products long before noon. Several produce vendors were sold out by 9:00 a.m., according to West End Farmers Market owner Kris Riley.
“[The first weekend] was a great success,” Riley said. “There weren’t enough produce and flowers to meet the demand, but we’ll be stocked up adequately in the future.”
The market featured a unique, eclectic mix of merchants this weekend. Food-wise, vendors selling seafood, goat cheese, biscotti, fresh-baked bread and pasta, just to name a few, were on hand. Other merchants offered various jewelry, fresh flowers, shark tooth fossils and locally-grown plants and herbs.
Riley said visitors can expect new and exciting additions every time they come. “All of the artisans will rotate every week. Very rarely will you see the same ones here two times in a row. They’ll be coming out periodically throughout the season.”
Market-goers we spoke with seemed pleased at the selection of local goods, but we found many looking for local produce who were disappointed to find that the few fresh fruit and vegetable vendors on hand sold out quickly. “We’re at the very beginning of produce season here in Virginia, and in the next week or two we’ll be having a lot more cut flowers, vegetables and fruit,” Riley explained.
While many of the vendors and artisans are from the Richmond area, the market accepts merchants from all over Virginia, up to a 100-mile radius. Those wishing to inquire about space at the market to sell their merchandise can contact Kris Riley at 364-8213.
Photos from our visit can be seen below.