By Kira Hays / Associate editor
As our city continues to grow, so do local businesses and community attractions. The Corpus Christi Downtown Farmers Market is no exception. The organization is a community-supported farmers market that sets up 5-7 p.m. every Wednesday in the Courtyard of The Water Street Market.
The mission of the farmers market is to provide the Coastal Bend community with more access to quality, locally grown, handmade goods and produce. It also helps support local famers and artisans along with the local economy and provides another fun, healthy and positive opportunity for downtown.
The farmers market got an upgrade this month, moving to La Retama Park at Schatzell and Mesquite streets in the heart of downtown. The new location provides room for the market to spread out, as well as accommodate new vendors.
The market moved on Sept. 3 and featured live music by Chicas Rock Music Camp and Jimmy Willden. The community might know the new location as the spot for the monthly Art Walk, which happens every first Friday of the month.
Crystal Kucera, an Ingleside resident, says she enjoys going to the farmers market because she likes to support local businesses.
“I’m all about going local,” Kucera said. “I can’t always make it to the Southside Market because it’s so early and I live so far, so it’s awesome that we have this to come to during the week.”
The original founders of the Downtown Farmers Market started the no-profit organization GROW Local South Texas. The organization’s goals are to grow the local food movement; help to support, create and manage access points; advocate for support of local food movement initiatives; and educate our community.
“The location changed because we were looking to work with the Downtown Management District to find a more central location downtown with safer street crossing location, more parking accessibility, and more visibility,” said Aislynn Campbell, who manages the direction of how the market interacts with the entire organization and is supporting personnel. “Also, a location feasible for food trucks to get involved.”
Campbell has been involved with the farmers market since its birth in March 2012.
“I partnered with Aletha and Jeff Craft, then owners of Tango Tea Room, and vendors from Southside Market to see if there was an interest to get a weekly market in the downtown area started,” Campbell said.
Campbell said they never wanted to seem like they were competing with the Southside Market, which is held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at the Everhart Market Shopping Center, but to provide a market on another day of the week.
“Community support has been good, but we can’t stress enough how important support is,” Campbell said. “It takes the consistent support from the community for the markets to grow into what we know they can be.”
To learn more about the Corpus Christi Downtown Farmers Market, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/CorpusChristiDowntownFarmersMarket, or their website at growlocalstx.com/farmers-markets/downtown-farmers-market.