It was an early morning for Ann Herrington at the first Land of Goshen Community Market of the season.
Being her first market as the new market manager, Herrington arrived before 6 a.m. to start blocking St. Louis Street and show vendors where to set up.
“It’s been hectic, but wonderful,” Herrington said. “I feel like I was really well prepared. Everyone has been kind, generous and patient.”
Herrington was hired in early February to be the new market manager of a market entering its 26th year in the community. She is also the executive director of the Goshen Market Foundation, which runs many programs, including the Beet Box.
The Beet Box is a mobile farmers’ market that visits underserved areas of Madison County three days a week to offer affordable and nutritious fresh produce.
“I love it,” Herrington said. “I feel like I’ve won the lottery.”
With 45 of the 70 registered vendors for the season in attendance on Saturday, Herrington was excited to see the support of the community. Those who weren’t in attendance are partial attendees who set up when their crops are in season.
“Coming out here into the community and seeing people face to face is a big part of their business,” Herrington said. “That’s its own reward. I’m glad we have this opportunity for so many vendors to set up and for people to come to the markets and want to buy stuff from them.”
Stephanie Maedge, co-owner of Kazoo Coffee & Roasting Company, spoke about her love of the Edwardsville community and the importance of the market.
One such business that enjoys this personal interaction is This Bath is the Bomb, started by Glen Carbon residents Adam Moeller and his fiancé Samantha Flaugher roughly four years ago in their Edwardsville apartment.
The two have since moved to a house in Glen Carbon, where the business is run right from their kitchen.
“The kitchen is constantly wrecked, but it smells good,” Moeller said laughingly, “so you can’t complain too much there.”
“This gives us an outlet for our product,” Moeller said. “The market has allowed us to grow. It’s nice seeing everybody face to face. The in-person interaction really helps.”
Flaugher has another business, A Sign of the Times, where she makes tote bags and does resale clothing.
“It’s one-stop shopping for treasures,” Herrington said. “Everything is local. You come here and it’s a whole morning of finding unique things in one spot.”
The Land of Goshen Community Market is every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon until Oct. 15.
As the weather warms, so are additional options at the market. Next week will be the return of yoga in the green area at the market.
Visit the Land of Goshen Community Market website for current and future programs and events.