In a world of very small business — the size of a 10-foot-square booth — banding together and helping each other is the best way to go.
This is what vendors have found at the Farmers and Artisans Market now open at the Port of Brookings Harbor boardwalk.
Last Saturday, vendors who were busy were getting help from those who were in a lull. When one vendor vacated their booth, the person in the neighboring booth would keep their eye on it.
Perhaps one of the busiest booths on opening day of this year’s market was Sylvia’s Farm Ffresh Produce, the only produce vendor in the market that day.
Business owner Sylvia Yock was busy selling greens, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, zucchini, celery, onions, grapes, oranges, lemons and other produce. She also had hydrangeas for sale.
“I grow a lot of this,” Yock said. Some things she has to purchase from wholesalers, such as the oranges, which don’t grow here, but other citrus fruit do well here. “I grow my own lemons.”
Many people noticed Cron Produce, who is usually there, was missing. Yock explained they couldn’t make it, but is supposed to be there next week and for the remainder of the market season.
Helping Yock during a busy time was Sue Zelazny, who was operating an artisan booth nearby and next to a booth operated by Bonnie Wilson, who was selling greeting and note cards, rock art, copper bracelets and stained glass.
Wilson agrees with the working-together concept. In fact, she is staring a nonprofit group to help locals “get the word out.”
A Facebook page has already been established — search for Shop Local First. The page will have information about entrepreneur education, discounts, services and offers available locally.
“We’ve been doing well by word of mouth, but we can do more,” Wilson said, referring to group advertising.
The farmers market at the port began about seven years ago by Violet and Len Burton, said Tina Kirkpatrick, who now organizes the market with her husband, Dale.
The market originated 13 years ago by Lynn Truman who had the market at several places in Brookings until the Burtons took it over and moved it to the boardwalk, according to Vi Burton.
The Kirkpatricks took over the market from the Burtons two years ago and still call them “their mentors.”
The market offers fruits and vegetables, breads and many crafts, mostly produced regionally. While people are visiting the booths, they can also listen to “low-key music,” Tina Kirkpatrick said. Every week a different musician will be performing.
The market has started the year off small, but it does grow as the season progresses.
Among the things the Kirkpatricks plan is to conduct a survey to find out what people would like to have in the market.
One of the newest additions to the market is locally-crafted beer, for which the market has received a license.
Chetco Brewing Co. are serving its brews at the end of the line of market booths.
Alex Carr-Frederick and Michael Frederick operate the brewery up North Bank Chetco River Road. The couple celebrated one year making beer on April 19.
The Fredericks not only brew 10 varieties of beer, but they also grow their own hops and raspberries for their flavored beer.
Among their pride and joys is their Block and Tackle Stout, which won a silver medal at the World Beer Cup in Denver in April, where 1,400 breweries entered 4,700 varieties.
The Farmers and Artisans Market at the boardwalk is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday through October.