Tupelo Farmers' Market looks to become bigger, better

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – About a dozen chefs, downtown businesspeople and consumers met Wednesday to discuss the future of the downtown Tupelo Farmers’ Market.
The market, which opened in 2000, operates Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings from May through October.
“We’re looking at ways to expand, to make it exciting, to get a little energy going,” said Allie West, a program associate for the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association, which operates the market.
The brainstorming session included ideas for activities, vendors, facilities, restaurateurs and promotional opportunities.
Currently, the market features locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers, as well as homemade jams, jellies, cakes, pies and breads.
“We could certainly look into having crafts if we have the space,” said Debbie Brangenberg, executive director of the Main Street Association. “That would be a wonderful way to expand the market.”
Ideas the group kicked around included offering an evening market; seeking market sponsors to help offset the costs of electricity, signs and promotional items; installing a full-service kitchen for cooking demonstrations; recruiting producers to grow specific produce for area chefs; moving the Children’s Market to Saturdays; and adding bathrooms.
“We have 26 reserved stalls for farmers and last year we presold all of those,” said Craig Helmuth, a program associate with the Main Street Association. “However, we had 42 vendors who were able to sell. We never turned anyone away as long as they had proper credentials. We are successful. We’re just looking for new ideas.”
Contact Ginna Parsons at (662) 678-1581 or ginna.parsons@journalinc.com.