- Interest dwindled last year. We had less and less attendance as the year went on. Less vendors. Less patrons.
- We constantly struggled to get enough vendors to make the patrons want to come.
- At the same time, we struggled with getting enough patrons to make vendors want to come. We’re hoping this once-monthly concept will allows us to make it an “event” each month, attracting more vendors and more patrons.
- We have a shortage of volunteers. The Market was conceived and remains overseen, organized, marketed and operated completely by volunteers with the exception of our paid set-up and take-down manager – and that person was hired only after our two volunteers, who had done it for years, got burned out and no one else stepped up to the plate. We would love to have more volunteers on our committee. Our next meeting is Tuesday, Jan 28th at 9:30 am at the County Ag Extension office conference room. Please join us. We need all the help we can get. After that date, call the Chamber of Commerce at (979) 732-8385. They’ll be able to tell you our next meeting date.
- For those of you who mentioned produce vendors may have issues being only once-a-month, the fact is, we didn’t have that many produce vendors last year. It has been a constant struggle for us to get produce vendors. And there are other markets within our area where they can go on the alternate weeks.
- These other markets have actually been part of our struggle. A number of our favorite vendors have been going to the Bellville market on the first Saturday of the month. Some have gone to the Sealy market on the second Saturday and somewhere else on the third week. We believe that by selecting the Last Saturday of the month, we’ll be able to attract more vendors. We chose the “Last” Saturday instead of “Fourth” Saturday, as we believe it will be easier for folks to remember.
- A few of our stable, regular vendors are just downright tired, and have told us they won’t be able to come every week in 2019. When presented the once-a-month concept, they were delighted and said they’ll be on-board.
We’ve added an extra hour this year in our effort to make the Last Saturday of the Month a big deal. We’re seeking to get more ready-to-eat food vendors, hoping that families can come out, shop the market, sit down and eat some good food and enjoy the live music. We’re talking about adding more family activities and such. We’ll keep you posted.
Please keep in mind this is an experiment. We all want to make this work. Most importantly, we need your help. We’re counting on you, both patrons and vendors, to come out this year and support our farmers, gardeners, bakers, cooks, artists and craftspeople.
Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave us a message at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce at (979) 732-8385.
Your Columbus Country Market volunteers.