The new permanent structure for the Owensboro Regional Farmers Market this season is drawing more vendors and more shoppers than last year.
The market has a permanent fabric roof and a rustic-style entrance building with restrooms and a small service kitchen.
Vice president of the farmers market Bruce Kunze said there are 40 vendors this year, up from 32 last year.
"One of our vendors, Trunnell’s Market, said their sales are up 20 percent in the new facility. And I know several others have said their sales are way up. We have a lot of vendors who are selling out before market ends at noon each day," said Kunze. "So I think the vendors are really pleased with the response they’ve gotten from the public and what they’ve been able to sell.”
Kunze said the more comfortable structure that replaced individual vendor tents has resulted in people staying longer and socializing. He said the shaded venue and new products like fresh bread on Saturday mornings are helping the market attract a bigger crowd.
"I think for this time of the year, this time of the market season, we’ve been busier. I know that the new pavilion has really been a draw for our customers. And it’s become really a meeting place where people come and socialize, as well as shop. They stay longer, which means that hopefully they’re shopping longer and purchasing more from our vendors, too.”
He said the Owensboro market is offering a wider variety of products this season, including lavender soaps and lotions and later this year, fish from a local aquafarm.