Fourth Street Market drawing larger crowds

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Jen Aitken, owner of Homebaked Kitchen Company, was one of the vendors who set up a table recently for The Fourth Street Market in Chatham.
Jen Aitken, owner of Homebaked Kitchen Company, was one of the vendors who set up a table recently for The Fourth Street Market in Chatham.

Browsers and shoppers alike get a feast for the eyes at The Fourth Street Market.

From fresh vegetables to unique artisan products, there is something for everyone.

The market, which runs every Wednesday from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. until Sept. 25, had one of its busiest days, with more than a dozen vendors and a larger crowd than usual, Aug. 21.

Jen Aitken, owner of Homebaked Kitchen Company who sells cookies and squares, says since her first time vending at the market in July, she has seen a noticeable change.

“It seems to get busier and busier here with more vendors here. I think we started with five of us,” said Aitken.

A trained pastry chef who specializes in creating delicious dairy-free and gluten-free treats, Aitken said the market has helped to establish what she and her products have to offer.

“They know I’m here,” she said of her customers.

Another vendor, Sandra-Pat Willis from Thamesville’s S-W Gardens, said that while most of the market is centred on food products, her business still gets its share of attention.

“It’s a nice variety here,” Willis said of the market’s selection.

Planning on attending until the last week, Willis says it’s markets like the one in Chatham that have helped establish her place in the international and local community.

For market goers Stacie Suitor and Jenni Guinty, this was not their first time at the Wednesday market. It also won’t be their last.

“I love it,” said Suitor. “The first week I came here, there were like four tents, so it’s quadrupled since then.”

Among their purchases of candied bacon and jewelry, the two shoppers found a lot of other pieces they liked, but did not buy.

Confident they will visit the market again in the upcoming weeks, Suitor is eager to see what new products each visit has to offer.

“Every week is a little bit different, which is nice,” said Suitor.

First hearing of the event through the its co-ordinator, Suitor and Guinty hope more people take advantage of what the market has to offer.

“I wish more people from the community would come out because it’s awesome,” said Suitor.

“I don’t think Chatham has anything like this other than the Wednesday market and it’s totally different,” she added.

One of the biggest factors the market is facing is it is not well known yet, says Suitor.

“Most people don’t drive by Fourth Street during the night on a Wednesday and it’s not heavily advertised.

“I don’t think a lot of people know about it, but if they did, more and more people would come,” she added.

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