Marketplace opens inaugural season

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Donna Benedict browses at Pam's Tea Shoppe, a vender at the inaugural Marketplace in Westfield, on June 14. (Photo by Anna Skinner)

Donna Benedict browses at Pam’s Tea Shoppe, a vender at the inaugural Marketplace in Westfield, on June 14. (Photo by Anna Skinner)

By Anna Skinner

As 5 p.m. approached on June 14, an assortment of Marketplace at Westfield venders hopefully glanced around as customers started to flow into the Ameriana Bank parking lot, 3333 Ind. 32.

With it being the first Friday Marketplace of the summer as well as the first summer where there wasn’t a Westfield Farmer’s Market held downtown, venders were not exactly sure what to expect. However, as more cars parked and more prospective buyers entered the makeshift marketplace, venders’ hopes increased.

Rob Garrett, manager of Ameriana Bank as well as the coordinator of the Marketplace at Westfield this year, is overseeing the weekly event. So far, everything is going smoothly, he says. By drawing a map and providing each of the 27 venders a specific space in his parking lot, he knew he would be able to accommodate everyone.

After getting approval from organizations such as the Downtown Westfield Association and City Hall, Garrett was able to put together his plan.

“I contacted the prior Westfield Farmer’s Market and got a list of the names of the venders,” Garrett said. “I contacted them and a few people also contacted me, so now we have a total of 27 venders who will be participating.”

Since it is still early in the summer, Garrett said that he is learning as they go because Ameriana has never really done a consistent event before. However, so far the customers and the venders seemed to enjoy it.

“I honestly think it’s awesome that Ameriana stepped up because we originally thought we wouldn’t have the market this year, and we figured that our business would take a cut,” college student Emily Rairdon, working for Pet Lover’s Organic Bakery, said. “It’s great that Ameriana is doing this for us.”

Scott Yelich, an Eagle Creek Bonsai vender, says he feels confident about the new location. With the new Marketplace taking place on the corner of Ind. 32 and Carey Road, cars passing by have a direct view to the venders’ different tents, especially since the Farmer’s Market was slightly hidden before.

“It’s a very visible location,” said Yelich, a four time Westfield Farmer’s Market vender. “Hopefully it does well.”

The Marketplace at Westfield is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday nights at the Ameriana Bank parking lot. For more information, visit www.ameriana.com/home/community/events or the Ameriana Bank Facebook page.

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