Middle-of-the-week farmers market comes to downtown Salisbury

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, June 4, 2024

SALISBURY — Summer is finally here and going to a farmers market will be one of those ubiquitous weekend activities that many will be basking in for the next several months. However, not everyone can make it to the markets that mostly operate during Saturday and Sundays. 

Luckily, the First United Methodist Church has a midweek option that is sure to please the masses.

On Wednesday afternoons, First United is hosting its very own “Church Street Market” to give local vendors an additional chance to spread the word on what they’re making, growing and selling.

Jen Fogt, director of discipleship ministries, said the market took shape in early 2023, when members brainstormed different ways on how the church could be more involved with the city of Salisbury and be sustainable in the long term. 

Though they did not have enough time to get it off the ground last year, the church set out for the market to start in the summer of 2024. They researched vendors, organized a vendors interest meeting, talked with residents and eventually discovered there was enough positive feedback to actually have their own farmers market.

“Several years ago, the Salisbury Farmers’ Market, who we’ve become friends with, had a Wednesday night offering, and then that kind of faded away. In conversations with some folks around the church and with their friends, we felt like there was enough interest in a midweek market that wouldn’t take away from the Saturday morning market. We never wanted to be in competition, we wanted to be good neighbors,” Fogt said.

The market’s first day was on May 22, with eight vendors already participating, and Fogt said they’re still looking for more. The market will be around until the fall or until vendors run out of their products and produce.

“Our main goal is really just being more present in the Salisbury community. It allows us to have conversations with people, it allows people who might be stopping by the park or walking down Church Street, to stop by and maybe have a conversation and just get to know more people and build community,” Fogt said.

Cheryl Correll and her husband own the 100-year-old Correll Farms, which used to be a dairy farm, but is now solely growing “hundreds of varieties” of fruits and vegetables. Correll said while they do take part in the Salisbury Farmers’ Market, they see the “Church Street Market” as a way they can help the downtown. Correll believes the market’s proximity to residents and other businesses can make it stand out amongst a crowded field. 

“We haven’t had quite the success at midweek markets, it’s hard for some people to get off work and then not go straight home, so maybe this is close enough for people working downtown that they can get off work and stop by before they head home or it’s also close enough to lots of neighborhoods that people can walk and shop,” Correll said. 

Southern SweeTees Bakery on South Main Street came about when owner Tessa Pittman began to bake when she was only seven years old. Now she has her own brick-and-mortar store and a spot at the “Church Street Market.” 

“A lot of the time, people don’t know about you when you have a storefront, but because with all of the community in the churches and the farmers markets, people tend to come out more, it gets us out in the community,” Pittman said. “We love the people that come out and the support that we’ve been getting.”

Denia Oldham, a member of First United Methodist Church, showed up to the opening of the “Church Street Market” on the 22nd, returned the following week, and plans on being a regular patron going forward. She already loves the offerings they have and hopes it can expand as the year progresses. 

“This is right in town, we don’t have to drive far to get what we need,” Oldham said.