Two young women – Osiris Macias and Kristen Costa have done a fantastic job of starting a Farmers Market in Amesbury over the last three weeks despite being very early in the growing season and experiencing very challenging weather on successive Wednesday afternoons. Cold, windy, and even some rain are not ordinarily in the formula to attract community members - but they have. A huge turnout for the initial Farmers Market may have created some initial confusion and parking challenges, but more importantly, it created momentum that has expanded across the Amesbury community. The confusion and parking have been solved. Organizers have lined up more prospective vendors than the current space allows…and growing season has not yet produced much ripe results due to cold weather.
The city of Amesbury recently received a second analysis completed by consultants and assisted by community members as part of ‘task forces’. Both have focused on what can be done to make downtown Amesbury businesses more successful via greater and consistent customer traffic and the related role the Lower Millyard District can play. Both groups identified that Amesbury has a rich industrial history that should be leveraged by producing ‘makers’ products in certain unique disciplines. These products have created differentiation for Amesbury. Having these products available year round for retail sales would draw people from Amesbury and other communities downtown. Makers has been going on in Amesbury for generations and continues today. It is going on today by tenants at CI Works and in other locations in Amesbury. These and other products made in Amesbury could become the hook to attract shoppers and become part of the brand.
The Farmers Market and the Makers will collide starting on Wednesday, May 25 in the current location on 12 Oakland St. expanded into the CI Works location at 11 Chestnut St. on the corner of Oakland. The location provides expansion opportunity for the Farmers Market with approximately 20 additional vendor stalls and more additional stalls to be operated by the Makers located at CI Works – and referred to as ‘Made in Amesbury’ in the parking lot. This expansion now has the support of the City of Amesbury and participants hope there will be even further expansion as the good weather arrives and ‘all’ Makers of products and produce in Amesbury will participate in the expansion and we have absolutely the Best of 'Made in Amesbury' available to the community and beyond. Success will determine the viability of a year round and possibly more frequent than once a week Market.