New market showcases goods from local proprietors
Delta Digital News Service
Friday, November 10, 2023
By Avery Jones | Editor
JONESBORO, Ark. – Caraway Market Days, a new farmers’ market arranged and hosted by South Caraway Baptist Church in Jonesboro, opened for the first time last Saturday. The event which lasted from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. featured many local vendors and food trucks.
According to Caraway Market Days Administrator Anna Powell who is a member of the church, the idea for the event begin developing in mid-September. According to Powell, the church has an extra fellowship building that wasn’t being used much which prompted congregants to brainstorming ways to utilize the space.
Several church members craft their own goods and have small businesses and decided a farmers’ market would be a good way to help sell their goods and connect with the community.
“We thought hey, let’s invite people in, provide this safe space and this regular environment where we could have events on the weekends, and allow local small businesses to sell their items here,” Powell said.
“We thought hey, let’s invite people in, provide this safe space and this regular environment where we could have events on the weekends, and allow local small businesses to sell their items here,”
– Caraway Market Days Administrator Anna Powell
Additionally, the group wanted to provide a way for people to “shop small” during the season in which other farmers’ markets are usually closed. The church plans to continue hosting the market every Saturday through April, excepting holidays.
“As a small business myself, I know that it’s really difficult in between market seasons when the local markets end in the fall, and they don’t start back up until May or June,” Powell said. “We really wanted this to be an opportunity to serve our community in between and allow a space for people to sell because so many of us know what that’s like to be kind of stuck through the winter season.”
In early October, Powell expected at least 30 vendors to show up; however the group unexpectedly was still receiving applications by that time and eventually became confident the space would be filled.
Only three or four vendors were from the church. Most of the expected vendors came from the outside community. In addition to handcrafted goods like clothes, some vendors were selling baked goods and candy; there was also availability offered for fresh produce and flowers.
All of the vendors’ tables were set up inside the Family Life Center. The food trucks were outside in the parking lot. Powell said that there may be some overflow of vendors outside on days of nice weather.
“It’s just going to be a really relaxed atmosphere,” Powell said. “We encourage families, friends, and groups of people to come just check it out, interact with all of our vendors and all of us that are going to be volunteering there. We’re just hoping for a really fun day.”
A large variety of homemade goods such as jewelry, clothes, art, embroidery, charcuterie boards, were featured, along with baked goods and candy.
Candace Brailsford owner of Charis Cottage Bakery in Jonesboro sells artisan sourdough, such as loaves, buns, rolls, and sandwich bread baked from her home daily. She also makes sweet treats like cinnamon rolls, scones, and cookies.
Brailsford started selling her bread in January of this year after receiving feedback that people loved eating it and were interested in buying it. Along with farmers’ markets, she sells from home and takes requests online.
One of the younger vendors at the market, a 19-year-old Abigail Sanchez, who sells a variety of handmade crafts like jewelry, keychains, and more. Sanchez started her business, Nightmareclaw’s Creatives, a little over a year ago.
Sanchez is mostly self-taught, while picking tips from her grandmother. She usually sells online and recently started selling at the Judd Hill Farmers’ Market before she heard about Caraway Market Days.
Coming from a family of seven, Sanchez uses the money from the business to help support them as well as her pet pig.
Stephanie Gibson of Momma G’s Embroidery was there to sell her handmade embroidered crafts. Gibson has been in business for about a year and doing embroidery for three years.
She primarily embroiders shirts, bags, blankets, and baby items, and sells them either at markets or online. She does it on the side along with her full-time job. She taught herself to embroider from YouTube.
“I’ve sewn since I was a kid when my grandmother taught me, so it was just a shift,” Gibson said.
Trisha Gooch, a watercolor artist, was selling her artwork. Her table displayed several originals as well as prints. Gooch paints mostly nature, including animals and landscapes.
She’s been painting for 25 years and selling her work for 20 years. She primarily sells on the Fine Art America website as well as her own website. She also does commissions.
In 2021, she moved from Hawaii where she was retired. She’s been selling at fairs in addition the Judd Hill Farmers’ Market, the Delta Arts Festival in Newport, and festivals at the Craighead County Jonesboro Library.
Doula Kara Pifer was there to advertise her services. Her business is called Cultivating Arrows Doula Services. She’s studied to be a doula for 2 years and got her certification at the end of 2022.
Originally from West Virginia, Pifer moved to Jonesboro last June and started her business in October. She has 6 children of her own and birthed the last 2 at home with the help of a midwife and another doula.
“I’ve seen how much of a big difference that it made, and I have such a passion for children and babies and pregnancy,” Pifer said. “When I saw that I could easily do a certification program myself, I immediately started after the birth of my second child at home.”
Along with delivering emotional and physical support during labor and delivery, she provides postpartum support, which means she assists with the baby after birth. Pifer gives encouragement and and provides education to new mothers while teaching pain management and relaxation techniques.
Avery Jones is a junior in the department of English and Philosophy at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. She can be reached at: [email protected]
Church hosts inaugural opening of Caraway Market Days. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council