(Posted Feb. 1, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
South Charleston’s Village Market has expanded into the winter months, making it a year-round resource for customers looking for farm fresh goods and locally made crafts.
“The community support and turnout was wonderful. We had a ton of people coming in and checking it out the whole day,” said organizer Kim Breeze about the market’s first indoor date held Jan. 8.
New and established vendors will return to the indoor site at Village Cup, 17 S. Chillicothe St., South Charleston, on Feb. 12 and March 12. Starting in April and running through October, the market will move outdoors along South Chillicothe Street. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the second Saturday of each month.
The monthly market features vendors selling a wide array of items, from locally raised beef, chicken, pork and eggs to honey, maple syrup, produce, baked goods, custom T-shirts, tumblers and jewelry.
“Lucky enough, some of them have found us,” Breeze said about vendor participation. “Some of them, we have reached out to. Some of them know each other. Word of mouth has helped a lot. I’m hoping that helps us to continue to grow.”
Originally called Market On The Alley, the market got its start a couple of years before the pandemic hit. Christy Routzahn headed it up, and it took place during the spring and summer months in the St. Charles Borromeo parish hall parking lot.
In 2020, the market went dormant due to the pandemic, then in April 2021, Breeze, who has helped to organize vendors for the South Charleston Heritage Days Festival, took up the reins. She moved the market to South Chillicothe Street, in front of Village Chic, Small Town Roots, and All In Flavor. The idea, she said, is to give the market more visibility and increase foot traffic for the existing stores.
“We did a test run in 2021 to see how things went and to build it up. There was enough interest that we decided to try indoors… Our goal now is to offer the market year-round,” Breeze said.
The Village Cup accommodates 12 small vendor spaces. All of the spaces are claimed for February and March. Once the market moves outside, space availability will open up. Breeze also is planning themes and special events, like a pie-baking contest and a kids’ bicycle parade, for the summer months.
The cost to rent an indoor space is $20 per month (subject to change). The cost for an outdoor space, which is larger, is $30 per month. Vendors must sell farm fresh items and/or locally made crafts. Items must meet health code standards. The market is not accepting direct sales vendors at this time.
All proceeds from vendor fees are donated to area organizations. The 2021 recipients were South Charleston Community Club, South Charleston Heritage Commission, South Charleston Education 150 Years Committee, and St. Borromeo Catholic Church.
As for why she took on organization of the market, Breeze said, “Honestly, I just wanted something like this available in the community and to continue giving back to the community. I love my little town, and I just want to have nice things for it.”