TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Rose City Farmers Market is set to reopen in two weeks after being closed for a year because of COVID-19.
The parking lot of ETX Brewing Company will soon be filled with produce, baked goods, skincare, and more starting May 8th. Board member Jessica Bullock said every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon, the market will be open after being closed for a year.
“It was hard on our market. Our market generates a small amount of revenue every week from the vendors that sell with us, our market members,” Bullock said. “But then obviously, we’re supporting 15 or 20 local small businesses by hosting them with us so that they can keep their doors open and keep their revenue going.”
Some of the vendors have struggled to sell their products. Fortunately, that’s not been the case for Trevor Stripling with Nothing Vanilla Cookies. He said the last year has forced him to expand his connections.
“I was able to kind of branch out more on my own, aside from doing farmers markets. I now do pop-up shops monthly with Culture ETX,” Stripling said. “I’ve partnered with a bunch of food trucks.”
Stripling said it was exciting news to learn that the farmers market was reopening.
“It was very exciting to me. I was wondering how COVID was going to affect the market, but since it is outside, I think that’ll make a lot of people feel a lot more comfortable coming versus if it was like an inside venue,” Stripling said.
While being closed impacted the vendors, it also took away funds that help pay for supplies, permits, and more for the market.
“The market requires a large number of supplies, but also requires permits and fees and insurance, and a wide range of different costs that go into running a successful market that is run safely and within the rules of our local requirements,” Bullock said. “Not being open last year depleted some of our funds, so we have struggled to get the ball rolling on that, but we did start a fundraiser that has been pretty widely received.”
Stripling said they specialize in unconventional cookie flavors you can’t get anywhere else and there are new flavors you can expect to see.
“We are going to have a bunch of new and exciting flavors inspired by breakfast foods like french toast, lemon blueberry,” Stripling said. “And then we’re also going to have some things that we’ve been working on really hard, recipe and development for gluten-free products, and keto, possibly some vegan cookies. Just so everybody gets to taste the product.”
Rose City Farmers Market is unique because they are committed to exclusively selling locally grown produce, Bullock said.
“Additionally, Rose City Farmers Market offers several different programs that support low-income families in the community so that they can increase their access to healthy foods,” Bullock said.
Bullock said they are also looking for volunteers to help run the market and musicians who want to play during it. For more information, you can visit their Facebook page.