OSKALOOSA — Temperatures have begun to drop and most farmer’s markets, like the Oskaloosa Vendor and Farmers Market, are closing shop until next summer when the weather warms up, but not in Oskaloosa.
Over the weekend Penn Central held its first indoor Winter Farmers Market of the year and vendors, as well as mall management, are deeming it a successful event.
The Winter Market featured approximately 14 local bakers, crafters, farmers and entrepreneurs with a variety of products being sold, from fresh bread or baked goods to collectible items like baseball cards and Redlined Hotwheel cars.
Owner of Papa Stan’s Homemade Soaps and Candles, Stan McHawes, considered the market a one stop shop for everybody to enjoy.
“There’s a lot of different vendors here and a lot of good deals. It looks like there’s a little bit of everything for everybody. I’ve seen some tractors down there, some collectible stuff here, and the guy behind me has some baseball card,” he said. “Unfortunately the lady next to me has all the evil sweets, there’s a little bit of everything. We have holiday stuff and a little bit of this, a little bit of that. The only thing missing is some nice warm weather.”
Among those present were: Karie Sweet Treats, Custom Wren Houses, Laptops, Lady K’s Jewelry, Van Skike’s Goodies, Deeweese Graphix and Vinyl and many more.
According to Penn Central Mall’s Marketing and Events Coordinator, Naomi Cochran, one of the goals for the Winter Market is to offer local business owners the opportunity to sell their goods in the winter as the products being sold are items that come in handy year-round.
“We just want to give farmers, crafters, bakers, those people who participate in our Summer Farmers Market an opportunity to sell their goods in the winter,” Cochran said. “A lot of these goods are fine year-round, so we just want to offer a space for them to sell and we feel like once a month is a pretty good amount of time or distance of time for people to come sell.”
Although there have been Farmer’s Markets at the mall in the past, like the Summer Farmer’s Market and the Fall Farmer’s Market, the main thing that makes this one different is that this market is sponsored mainly by the mall
“The Summer Farmers Market is led by a couple of other local people in town, Reg and Janelle Randau.” Cochran said. “If they have issues with rain, weather, things like that then they will move into Penn Central Mall, but for the most part, we like to let them keep their outdoor fun summer feel. They’ve done a really good job of expanding that this year, so we just let them do their thing and then we’ve been partnering with them to create this inner realm solution.”
Judging from the success of Saturday’s market, mall management and local vendors like Chenoa Van Skike, owner of Van Skike’s Goodies, are hopeful that events like these will bring businesses and customers back to the mall and even Oskaloosa.
“I hope it continues, it looks like there a lot of things here that people in the community can come in and get,” Van Skike said. “It’s around Christmas time so there’s a bunch of things that people can pick up for stocking stuffers or things like that. It’ll just bring business back to the mall and just liven up Osky a little more. It seems like businesses have been leaving, but hopefully, we can get more businesses in by bringing in more people.”
Customers that attended the market felt that the set up was very nice, with a nice amount of variety and options.
Penn Central Mall will be sponsoring a farmers market every second Saturday of the month from now until March. Dates for the next four markets are as followed: Dec. 14, Jan. 11, Feb. 8 and Mar. 14.