Lynchburg Community Market Pushes to Bring Customers Downtown
Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Steven Smith
Lynchburg, VA- The community market in Lynchburg is trying to re-invent itself. Earlier this year there were concerns that city budgets cuts would force the market to close. Now the community manager is trying some new things to attract more customers to the market.
Lynchburg Community Market manager Jennifer Kennedy says one of the biggest challenges they have is getting people to realize they are open five days a week. Kennedy says now the market is holding some new events to get rediscover the market.
It's a busy Saturday at the Lynchburg Community Market, farmers are lined up outside, customers are waiting for the season's freshest pick, and there's a band playing some old time jazz music for entertainment.
"We have the sights, we have the smells here. Now we're just adding the sound element to it," said Kennedy.
Kennedy says live music is one of many things the market is doing to attract more customers.
"We want to continue to evolve and continue to offer something for everyone in the community," said Kennedy.
Kennedy says there are some new vendors at the market, and even a spot for artists to show off their work. It's part of push to get residents to visit the market more than just once a week, and customers are taking notice.
"People usually come here, shop then leave. Now it seems like there is a lot socializing. It's more of a fun atmosphere," said Lee Schinnoeller , a regular customer at the market.
Kennedy started Market Wednesdays to give folks a chance to pick up produce during the middle of the week. And, now select restaurants inside the market are open late on Thursdays.
"Now people leaving downtown or going home after work can pick something up during 'Take Out Thursdays' from one of our great restaurants," said Kennedy.
The new events are providing a big boost for vendors and local farmers.
"It brings customers to me. I've seen my business just go up steadily since mid April," said Glenn Clayton Junior of Hungry Hill Farm.
The Lynchburg Community Market is open from Tuesday to Saturday.
Green Market Wednesdays are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Take Out Thursdays are from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information about the community market go www.lynchburgcommunitymarket.com