Market Day – Any Questions?

My friend “Jen”: has requested that I do a once a week series, on Mondays, on what “the market”: was like the prior day. I had been disinclined to do so, as I occasionally feel that it would bore the snot out of anyone reading, but today I changed my mind. At least for today.

The change was brought about, in part, while discussing the market with Bill’s employee Dan. We were discussing the fact that I would like to have data on what sort of items my patrons would like to see at the market (as well as what potential patrons would like to see!).

At the market, I would introduce a survey to find out. Indeed, I am working on one this week. Here on the blog, I write about it. If there’s response, I keep writing about it. If not, I write about it until I get bored with writing about it. I’ll have a short entry for today. Next week, especially if people are curious to know more, I’ll take some photos of my very own to share with you.

Bill helps out with the market every week that he’s in town. In layman’s terms, this makes him “the best.”

The alarm goes off at 5:30 am on market day, and is (so far) the worst thing about it. After we stumble out of bed, we have about an hour to get ready and get out there. This is pretty difficult for us, as we’re slow in the mornings, but the alternative (getting up any damn earlier) is even worse.

Not unbearable. Just worse.

Breakfast is always something easy, if we manage to have it at home at all. We often don’t, because I usually need at least an hour before waking up and eating something. This week, we attempted to. I made blackberry-black currant smoothies by adding the foam from the black currant jam of the night before to yogurt, frozen blackberries & milk. I thought it was pretty good, and drank the whole thing. Bill, on the other hand, found our smoothies to be far too sweet and couldn’t finish his. Thus, he found some more breakfast later. I don’t recall what.

We got to the parking lot around 7:30 am and set up our spot while directing vendor traffic. This, right now, is a pretty simple job. Most vendors have a specific spot and just get in, and set up. Last week was kooky, as we had far more vendors than usual.

Customers start trickling in fairly early, maybe 8am, but it’s very few. I don’t think we’d do well to start earlier. I try to keep an eye on them, because I have to balance being polite to the people who want to come, and allowing my vendors a chance to get set up before being pressed to sell things. Luckily, this is also not too bad.

The market starts at 9:00 am and ends at 3:00 pm. This is, as you can imagine, our busy time. This week was harder than most, as it was amazingly hot & humid out. We are in a bank parking lot & the bank marquee said the temperature hit 100F at one point. Interestingly, we still got a fair amount of traffic. The week before had also been ridiculously hot, and I think we got less traffic. It’s hard to tell, though, sometimes. I’m working on rectifying that too.

Most of what I did this week, and this is abnormal for me, is sit at our tent & try to greet customers as they pass. We have a small enough market that I try to say hello to everyone, and thank them all for coming to the market. I imagine I don’t get everyone, but it’s a goal.

Sadly, there’s a small segment of people who are extremely weirded out by my thanks. I think they think I am mocking them. In fact, I am incredibly grateful to everyone who walks through our market, even if they don’t buy (and especially if they do).

Normally I’m out and about more, but the heat & humidity basically killed my movement and appetite. This week was also extremely light on volunteers (Bill & our friend Krysti were it), so when they weren’t around, I needed to be at the table.

Folks started breaking down a bit early this week, between 2:30 pm and 2:45 pm. Normally, I am not in favor of this, but with a lack of customers, and everyone having been out in the heat for six or more hours, I was quite supportive.

So, that’s the basic breakdown of a day in my market life, using yesterday as a specific example. Next week I will try to post some more details and some photos. In addition, if you have any questions on the topic, I’ll be happy to answer them.


One thought on “Market Day – Any Questions?

  1. Yay, a market post! I really wish I could go see it in person.

    Is it possible that people are weirded out by your thanks because it’s not obvious that you’re there in an official capacity? If some kook in a lawn chair was thanking me for coming to a market, I’d probably raise an eyebrow unless I saw them wearing a huge PILSEN COMMUNITY MARKET T-shirt or a “Market boss-lady” name tag.

    So what sort of vendors do you have? Mostly food? Do you insist they be locally-sourced, in line with your values?

Comments are closed.