Sherwood held its first farmer’s market on June 7, which brought out hundreds of shoppers and pedestrians and a dozen vendors.
“We were very pleased with the results of the first farmer’s market,” Kelly Coughlin, Sherwood’s director of economic development, said.
Coughlin said she has judged the first one a success based on her experience with startup farmer’s markets in other towns.
Several years ago, Coughlin led the effort to get one started in Cabot.
“The first year we had only two vendors,” Coughlin said. “Now they have 35.”
She said she was able to get vendors who participate in other farmer’s markets and convince them to try the new one in Sherwood.
“They have wanted to come to Sherwood, but many felt they could not fit another Saturday market on their calendars,” Coughlin said.
Holding the Sherwood event on a Thursday proved helpful to vendors, which was a major reason they came to town.
Marcia Cook, the Sherwood Chamber of Commerce’s executive director, agreed with Coughlin’s assessment and judged the first farmer’s market in the city a success.
The events will be held from 5-8 p.m. each Thursday through the end of August.
Both Cook and Coughlin said it was nice seeing shoppers and pedestrians spend time in Sherwood, who were not all from the city.
“I saw a lot of people from North Little Rock, which is great,” Cook said.
Coughlin said the event helps businesses because people are spending their disposable income here.
Local eateries and surrounding businesses reported a jump in sales, she added.
Local musician Larry Dixon brought his band, and the group played acoustic music to add to the festive atmosphere, Coughlin said.
“They played bluegrass, gospel, acoustic music,” Coughlin said.
The city fire department brought a truck, so children could get a closeup look at a fire engine.
“The kids loved it,” she said.
In addition, the Sherwood Animal Shelter brought its mobile adoption unit to showcase animals needing adopted.
Coughlin said she got a lot of good feedback from vendors, including one person who said between 250-350 visitors came by their table.
Both Cook and Coughlin said officials are meeting this week to go over what went right and wrong at the first farmer’s market to improve it.
“We probably will change the setup of the vendors to make more room for parking,” Coughlin said.
Another goal is to provide electricity to vendors.
Coughlin and Cook said they were also pleased with the variety of vendors, including a honey salesman, fruit/vegetable stand, and coffee display.
One popular seller offered blueberries that were provided by Barnhill Farms located outside of Cabot.
Coughlin said she believes next year’s farmer’s market will be held in the parking lot across the street from its current market at the intersection of North Hills Boulevard and Country Club Road. The site is the location of Gadwall’s Restaurant.