Kingman Farmers Market volunteer Tatiana O’Donnal shows some various locally made products to curious customers. (Photo: Arron RIcca)
KINGMAN – Two agriculture and art entities are now within a few steps of each other.
The Kingman Farmers Market has found a new home and despite a last-minute social media push, was a success last weekend.
The new location is an empty 3,700 square-foot plot technically known as 212 W. Beale St. (between St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store and the former Kingman Center for the Arts building). The first market was held July 4th and, according to market Vice President Ralph O’Donnal, the lot turned out to be a good location.
“We’re glad we moved it,” he said. “Overall, every one of the vendors did better than they ever did at the former venue.”
Being the event was on July 4th, plenty of people were checking out downtown. Both the market and the stores.
Market items were selling and selling fast. Produce, bread, jewelry, soap and even cotton candy. Vendors ranged from Kingman from the most part, but also Ashfork, Calfornia, Hawaii and even Barbados.
O’Donnal owns the property and has short and long-term plans to improve it, including adding more shade and level, people-friendly terrace platforms. The ultimate goal is to turn the lot into into a small outdoor venue that would include a stage for music and performing arts.
He said there were a few snipes (both online and in person) about the location change, but the majority of public opinion was positive.
The Kingman Farmers Market started in 2015 with the intention of being downtown, wherever the location.
“The market was meant for Old Town and we wanted it to stay in Old Town,” O’Donnal said. “We have big plans for the location and the market itself. The market is for the community and we want to support the community.”
One market helps another.
West of 3rdrd, a clothing, art and specialty boutique, will be offering a Saturday indoor farm stand in addition to KFM. Local growers and co-owners Andrea McAdow of Rosebird Gardens will offer a variety of vegetables, fruit and eggs, and Alex Kyger of Wet Dirt will be on hand with a variety of loose leaf teas and skin care products. The Bearded Baker will also be offering different styles of bread and sweets.
While the farmers market was attracting a good share of shoppers, West of 3rd was having stellar sales as well.
“We had the best Saturday we’ve had in a long time,” said Ferry, another of the store’s co-owners, said.
The shop already offers the farm stand on Thursday and Saturday, but with KFM a few doors down, she expects business to keep booming.
“We’re really excited they’re our new neighbors,” Ferry said.
She said that the store and the market aren’t collaborating, but both ventures have the same goal.
“We are encouraging local support of local farmers and artisans,” she said.
Boutique owners also have expansion plans planned for sometime in autumn.
The store has a small courtyard and is already in the works to be turned into an outdoor marketplace, learning garden and will serve farm-to-table-style dinners. The funding comes from a $10,000 grant courtesy of the Main Street America and American Express. West of 3rd was one of ten cities in the U.S. to get the grant.
Downtown has been growing for years and improvements are popping up all the time.
McAdow encourages everyone to stop and take a look around, have a drink, grab a bite and maybe take home some local jewelry.
“Downtown is truly the epicenter of Kingman culture,” she said. “We expect downtown to continue to develop into a place where you can live, eat, and play all without having to get into your car.
For those under a financial pinch, West of 3rd does accept SNAP/EBT. O’Donnal said KFM organizers are working to make that happen as well.
Kingman Farmers Market runs every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Go to their Facebook page for more information.
The West of 3rd Farm Stand will runs 3 to 6 p.m on Thursday and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday.