West Columbia's Artisan Market is already a big hit.
"The response has been great," said Colleen Otte, the city's contact for the market. "We're pleased with the community support we've received. After people visit the first time they come back and bring their friends."
The market at 425 Meeting Street opened Sept. 14. It's open every Saturday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.. The pavilion is in the parking lot behind Terra Restaurant and across the street from Pelican Snoballs.
Otte said interest from vendors has been heavy. "We're completely booked for the month of November," said Otte. And the market will extend the dates of operation. It was supposed to end the open season on Nov. 23, but that season of operation has been stretched until Dec. 21.
Vendors offer: art; vintage clothes; candles; produce; and bath products, among other items. Food trucks this week include Crepes and Croissants; New Brookland Tavern; Hot Mess and Faithful Foods.
"It's nice to see folks out enjoying the Artisan Market," said West Columbia Mayor Pro-Tem, Tem Miles. "It adds a level of excitement and produces pedestrian traffic to our main entertainment district."
Witt Hook, 16, with his younger brother Preston,13, operate Hook Brothers Produce. They sell squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, bananas and other fruits and vegetables by the basket, at the Artisan Market.
"We are really glad for the chance to sell our products at the market, said Witt. "It's a lot of fun seeing so many people and business has been good."
He said he has learned a lot about marketing and he has enjoyed talking to his customers and getting feedback from them on the produce Hook Brothers sells. "It's definitely something we'll continue to be a part of."
West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton said he has visited the market.
"People driving by say they saw the market and stopped. They are glad they did. They said they love it" said Horton. "It's just another good thing in West Columbia. I'm very pleased with the way the market has been received. And we have room to expand it and I don't think there is any doubt that it will just get better. It's a big hit and a lot of credit goes to the City of West Columbia staff for making it happen. We have the best team. It's a great a attraction in a greet location. I'm very proud of the finished product and the benefit it is for our city."
In addition to the Saturday schedule of the market, Otte said it will be open on the Friday evening of Nov. 1, in conjunction with the Fall Back Fest that will take place on State Street. Besides spots for 16 vendors, the Artisan Market brings more. It is next to West Columbia's Interactive Art Park and not far from the mural-decorated alley that connects to State Street.
"The added parking allows folks to get out and walk, eat and shop on State Street," Miles said. "It's absolutely what we needed. It has increased use of that area."
Horton said the Artisan Market brings optimism.
"That market, and the success of it, shows the potential we have to develop the River District and every section of town," said Horton. "The market is just the beginning. There is so much coming. It's very exciting."
Come this Saturday to shop and stroll through the West Columbia Meeting Street Artisan Market. This week's vendors are:
Crepes & croissants
The Hot Mess Food Truck
Fine Art by Laura Day
BackyardKoi & ART By J2ester
Seminole Candle Company
Beautiful Day Bath Goodies
Kiber and Kobb
Charles Hite Photographic Arts
Rive Gauche Craft
South Pacific Skirts
Joni Trezza Painter
Contact Colleen Otte, Parks Assistant and Venue Rentals, 803-936-6279, email@example.com, with any questions.
Below are some highlights:
Convenient FREE Parking!
Original arts and crafts
Foods and produce
16 vendor spaces under the market pavilion
For more information: https://westcolumbiasc.gov/meeting-street-artisan-market/