Farmers market has record season despite new location

Chris Roark
Waxahachie Daily Light

A change in location didn’t hamper the Downtown Waxahachie Farmer's Market after all. In fact it might have even helped.

On Monday, Anita Simpson, downtown development director, updated the City Council on this year’s farmers market, which ran May 8 to Oct. 30. Simpson said this year’s farmers market set a record in sales.

The Downtown Waxahachie Farmer's Market brought in a record number of sales this year in part because of the extra space for more vendors.

Waxahachie’s farmers market began in 2003 on the south side of the downtown square before moving to a location near the lumber yard. This year it moved to Howard Road near the Wags-A-Hachie Dog Park.

“Everyone was real apprehensive about how people were going to find us, how it was going to go,” Simpson said. “I think the numbers say that people found us.”

Simpson said for years she had the goal of hitting the $200,000 mark for the farmers market in a single year. She said this year it raked in $257,352, a 42-percent increase from last year.

“That’s five hours on a Saturday morning for 26 weeks,” Simpson said. “If they can do a quarter of a million dollars for five hours on Saturday mornings over the course of 26 weeks I’m not worried about my downtown businesses.”

Simpson said this success comes despite being in a new location and a sudden leadership reorganization following the death of the farmers market president Jim Dockins in June.

Simpson said one reason for the success was more vendor space. She said the previous location had maxed out at 30 vendors, but the new location provides room for 50.

“Even with social distancing,” Simpson said. “And there’s room to grow.”

The extra space provided opportunities for more activities and parking.

Simpson also credited both the new vendors and those who have returned year after year.

“It’s a great group of people, and we got some new vendors who are really fabulous,” Simpson said. “And we just continue to grow and grow and grow.”

One of the longtime vendors is Tommy Jones, who has operated Thomas Hot Dog at the farmers market all 19 years. His wife, Shirley, has run Jam, Jellies and More since 2003 as well.

Jones, the new president of the farmers market, said he wasn’t concerned about the farmers market traffic slowing down when the location changed.

“The location is great,” Jones said. “We have plenty of good patrons. And we’re looking forward to next year when it will be even better.”