The Boone County Farmers Market will have a new home beginning Saturday just a stone’s throw from the Columbia Farmers’ Market.
Those who want to shop for locally produced fruits, vegetables, meats, baked goods and bedding plants at the county market will find it in the parking lot of the Sanford-Kimpton Health Department Building at the intersection of West Boulevard and West Worley Street.
Rick Goodman, president of the Boone County Farmers Market, said the move is an effort to “get more in the public view.”
“People couldn’t see us,” Goodman said regarding the group’s former location behind The Marketplace antique mall at 1100 Business Loop 70 W. “We had a real good run there at The Marketplace. It was just getting to where we needed a more visible location.”
Goodman said the new, more central location will also make it easier for people to walk or bike to the market.
The market will lease the Health Department lot from the city and county’s Sanford-Kimpton Condo Association for $2,000 per season which run from April to October. The lease can be renewed annually.
The new spot is just a few blocks away from the Columbia Farmers’ Market, where growers and producers sell their wares on the parking lot of the Activity and Recreation Center, 1701 W. Ash St.
Jen Muno sells goat cheese at the Columbia Farmers’ Market. Goatsbeard Farm has been in business for six years, and Muno said the instant feedback of face-to-face sales is her favorite part about selling at the outdoor market.
“I think more farmers markets are good for the whole community,” she said. “I do wish we were all together. I think each market has its set of customers, and they’re pretty loyal.”
Muno said she didn’t know how the Boone County market’s move would impact the Columbia market, but it might mean more shoppers for both.
“But I think that’s fine, because it is supporting farmers either way,” she said.
The Boone County market will open at 8 a.m. Saturday. The opening day will feature “folksy-blues” music by Dave Bandy, Goodman said, as well as a cookbook sale by the Fortnightly Club. But the real focus will be on the goods offered by growers and producers.
“We don’t have a real big hoopla,” Goodman said. “We’re just farmers who want to sell our product.”
The Boone County market will also be open from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.