Farmers market kicks off its new year; Growth seen from last year

Published 12:10 am Saturday, May 11, 2024

The China Grove Farmers Market kicked off its new season May 7 at the Main Street Marketplace, 308 S. Main St., China Grove and will be held there every Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. in the parking lot.

Rodney Phillips, mayor of China Grove, took this opportunity to welcome all of the vendors who were there on opening day and gave a shout out for the Main Street Marketplace for offering new ideas for the farmers market.

This is the second year to be held in this location, and Brianna Caraccio, who serves as the market and program manager at both the Main Street Marketplace and the China Grove farmers market, said that on this opening day they had already grown from last year.

“Today, we have nine vendors and we have 15 signed up,” she said. Plus she welcomed others that might want to come and be a part of it. Those interested can contact Caraccio directly at for additional information.

She noted the good variety of vendors that were there on this day, which included bakers, those selling produce, soap, plants, coffee, and next week, there would also be flowers and meats.

“I think it’s great. It’s going well so far,” Caraccio said. “I feel I get to meet lots of people and feel a sense of community.”

In addition to the vendors selling their goods, there were activities for the children as they could play with sidewalk chalk and get a veggie tattoo.

Music will also be a part of the market several times through the season, as well as community partners each week, she said.

While most of the weeks are lined up, Caraccio said they are still looking for others to partner with them, as she said they are hoping to have some type of educational partner every week.

For this first week, Carol Corken with Rowan Food and Farm Network was there handing out reusable bags to the first 50 customers.

And, Jill Sellers, who serves as the director of the Parks and Recreation Department with the Town of China Grove, was on hand sharing bags with seeds, a craft and a schedule of town events. The town’s theme of Come and Grow With Us was affixed to the bags given to attendees.

This was their first time to be a part of the market and Sellers said by 5:20 that evening she had already given out 25 bags and talked with residents, which was their goal, to meet people and tell them about the town.

One vendor that is a newcomer this year is Cable Family Farm in Rockwell. Father and son, Chris and Caden Cable, respectively, were there with beets, onions, greens and other items for sale, and Chris said that they would have a lot of summer vegetables coming in the next couple of weeks.

Caden said they knew Caraccio beforehand and knew the market was going to be held there. It was the closest in proximity for them, he said, so being a part of it “was something we wanted to do.”

By having a booth there and being a part of this community event, Chris said they hoped to be able to “establish ourselves as a very good, naturally grown vegetable farm. We have a no-till set up for our farming. We’re doing a lot of really good practices, and it’s a great chance for people to get some really good quality food,” He also said they really appreciated the opportunity to be there.

Angela Vaught, with Tea for Two Organic Eatery, 113 S. Main Street in downtown China Grove, was a returning vendor. She said she wanted to come back this year and be a part of the market “because I like to support the local farmers, the vendors that are here and bring the community together. Just to support everybody that contributes to this.”

Vaught said that there had been a good crowd when it first opened and she said, “I feel good about it being the first.”

She had a variety of baked goods available for sale and said at her brick and mortar, she offers light lunches, sweet and savory items, tea parties and catering.

Other vendors on hand for this kick-off week included Zufall Soap Company, Don Zufall; Southern Sweetees, Tessa Pittman; Good Ground Coffee, Meredith Garcia; New World Old Soul Bonsai, Rusty Harris; and Carolina Farm Trust Bistro food truck.

Hally Nave of China Grove, one of the visitors to the market, said she has an Instagram account called Roco Info, where she tries to spotlight and bring awareness to local small businesses. Through that, she said, she had made some new friends in the community, two of them being Caraccio and Garcia, and therefore came because she wanted to support them, plus just wanted to support the community.

In his opening remarks, Mayor Phillips said he had a goal for China Grove and that was, he wanted it “to be the place where people choose to come, live, work, play, shop, dine, worship and do recreation.”

He noted that the market is a part of that, and said this was a place that people could come every Tuesday. “This is going to be awesome, glad you are here,” he said.