Nashua Farmers Market opens for season

NASHUA – The Nashua Farmers Market opened for the first time this season to a large crowd, offering attendees a variety of goods, from ice cream and baked goods to paintings and produce.

Moving from its former location – Le Parc de Notre Renaissance Francaise along Water Street to a stretch of Main Street between Temple and East Pearl streets – organizers, attendees and vendors had nothing but positive things to say about the Great American Downtown-sponsored event and the move.

“A lot of the issues we had in the previous location, like proximity to parking, handicapped accessibility (are gone) – all I have seen today is smiling faces from the people that are happy with the experience,” said Great American Downtown Executive Director Paul Shea. “We haven’t heard any of the complaints that came with the previous location. Overall, I’m really happy.”

“The police and fire (departments) were pleased with how smooth it went with the setup, so that is exciting,” Shea added.

Even more exciting was the additional foot traffic spurred by the relocation.

“I think, in the ballpark, we had two to three hundred more people than we were expecting,” Shea said. “The early turnout was exceptional.”

The strong turnout, of course, meant stronger sales for the 40-plus vendors set up at the Market’s kickoff.

“A lot of vendors sold out of stuff,” Shea said. “This was, for them, the best market they had done. I think I heard maybe four or five vendors say this was the best market they had done, in terms of their experience doing markets. I think we had a lot of folks from our church communities downtown coming out to support the market. I think we had a lot of people excited that wanted to come check it out, and they did, and were pleasantly surprised with what they found.”

What attendees found was a variety, the proverbial something for everyone. Aside from several produce offerings, attendees were treated to confections from Sub Zero Ice Cream & Yogurt and JajaBelle’s; paintings from Graffiti Paint Bar; wine from WineNot Boutique and Coffin Cellars; soaps; crafts; and a variety of products for attendees’ four-legged friends from the Happy Cat Co. and others. Live entertainment also was offered, which drew crowds throughout the day.

From here, Shea expects addition growth throughout the season.

“I think we are going to see a few more vendors coming in,” he said. I have two produce vendors that will be joining the market a little later in the season; it’s a little too early for a lot of crops. We’ll have Sullivan Farm joining us in a couple of weeks. We are going to have a bread vendor join us who’s working on their commercial kitchen approval and a couple other vendors, and we are going to do some outreach to some more artisanal product-type vendors and try to fill it out.”

“We can only really accommodate an additional eight to 10 more vendors in this area, then we will have to look to grow further,” Shea added. “I think what we will see is light growth as the season goes on. We will likely hang in at around 45 or 50 vendors.”

The Nashua Farmers Market is open every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Main Street from Temple to East Pearl streets. For additional information, call 603-883-5700 or email paulwshea@down

townnashua.org.

Editor in Chief Matthew Burdette can be reached by email at mburdette@nashuatelegraph.com and by telephone at 603-594-1240. Follow him on Twitter @Telegraph_MattB.