Farmers’ market offers fresh food, homemade décor, and a dose of kindness

| June 28, 2019


COSHOCTON – Whether you’re looking for fresh produce, sweet treats, hand painted signs, or a friendly community, Coshocton County Farmers’ Markets have it all. Each farmers’ market has a variety of homemade items, and each of them are located close by. Every Saturday, Coshocton city’s main street, Fresno Bible Church, and the corner of Orchard Street and Main Street in West Lafayette are holding farmers’ markets. Coshocton’s market goes from the first Saturday in May until the last Saturday in October. Fresno’s and West Lafayette’s is open through September. The Coshocton and Fresno farmer’s markets are open in the morning from 8:30 a.m. to noon, and West Lafayette’s market is open 1:30 to 3 p.m.

We asked around to see what keeps bringing the community to these markets Saturday after Saturday and year after year. Of course, the thing that brings the community here first is the food. Waunita Stoecker compared market goods to grocery store products, and it’s no competition.

“Oh, it’s fresher. If it’s produce, it’s probably picked the day before,” said Stoecker. “The baked goods are absolutely homemade, there’s no doubt about that.”

Then there’s the homemade crafts. From dishtowels to signs and from crocheted fish to window decals, the markets have more than just food.


But if you ask the people what they really love about the farmers’ markets, it’s not the food or even the crafts. They love the people and the community there.

“Everyone is so friendly,” said vendor Anna Hicks. “They are honest to God so friendly.”

The kind, supportive community between vendors and community members is the soul of these markets. The goods bring people to the markets, but the community brings them back next week, next month, next year. The returning vendors and community members bring a light into this market. Hicks has felt this herself and said that she’s met so many new people through the market “and when they keep coming back to your spot, it makes you feel good.” That’s the support that invites and unites communities. That kind of support is also vital to some of these small businesses.

West Lafayette

Becky Bowden has been selling honey and maple syrup at the Coshocton market for three years and said that this is her main outlet for sales.

“When you only have a little, you can’t really go to a retail store,” she said.

Bill Daugherty, otherwise known as ‘the rhubarb guy,’ is also a small business owner gaining support for his business through these markets. The support and friendship in the farmers’ market community is so important to each of them. As for others, they just love creating and sharing with the community as a hobby.

Elanor and Robert James sell at the market for that very reason, and they’ve been doing it for about 10 years now.

“I like doing it because I like baking, and it’s a great way to get out in the community,” said Elanor.

She used to have a bakery in Dresden years ago. Although the clientele wasn’t there, Elanor and Robert have used the markets as a way to keep doing what they love and sharing it with the community.

When talking about how the West Lafayette market got started, Sara Warne said, “There’s so much talent in the community.”

This is obvious from booth to booth, but what really inspired Warne to start a market in West Lafayette was the chance to uplift the community. She said that the farmers’ market “gives us an opportunity to get us out in front of our neighbors, reconnecting again.” As many other vendors and community members have said, that’s what is so great about these markets. It’s the relationships built within the community and the old-fashioned support and kindness that never goes out of season.

Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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