Welcome Back to the Market Place
By OTC Staff
Welcome Back to the Market Place
These last four months sure have taken a toll on “doing business as usual” – whatever that is/was. It sure has altered how we here at the Old Town Crier have had to approach our editorial. Our “normal” M.O. is to profile an individual small business in order to highlight what they have to offer our readership and to give them some free publicity, however, in light of the situation, every small business in our distribution area deserves to be profiled. All we can do is encourage our readers to shop locally and support the sole proprietorships. The big box stores can fend for themselves.
With Phase 3 being implemented the first of July, it is evident that there are more people strolling up and down King Street here in Old Town and along Mount Vernon Ave in Del Ray and there is much more activity in the surrounding rural areas that we do distribution to. One of my favorites, Culpeper, seemed almost back to normal (with the exception of having to wear masks) when we did the distribution there.
Activity at many of the wineries has picked up as well and people are taking advantage of the parks and recreations areas that have opened. The Road Trip column in this issue features Skyline Drive and there were lots of people making the same trek we did in the middle of the week and they were stopping to shop, drink and dine as we meandered through Shenandoah National Park. It is evident that the pandemic has hit the small towns harder than it has the more urban areas since they depend on tourists/visitors for the bulk of their income especially in the summertime. It sure was different in July than it was in June so things are slowly looking up.
Another group of entrepreneurs who have had business pick up are those who participate in our local Farmers Markets. The summer harvest season is heading into fall and the produce is phenomenal this time of year and artisans are preparing their wares looking for those upcoming holiday sales. Please take a break from your pandemic routine and check these markets out:
Old Town Farmers Market
301 King Street
Saturdays, 7 am – 12 Noon
The Old Town Market is thought to be the one of nation’s oldest continuing markets operating since 1753. It is said that George Washington sent his products from Mount Vernon to be sold here. Today the plaza is a mecca for farmers and artists to sell their wares. The Market is a primary source for meats, dairy, fish, fruits, vegetables and flowers for all those who visit.
Del Ray Farmers Market
Corner of Mt. Vernon and Oxford Avenues
Saturdays, 8 am to Noon
This market is strictly a producer grown market. Lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, fish and salmon, fresh mushrooms, baked goods, hard cider. Farmers are within a 150 mile radius of Alexandria. A non-profit is featured each weekend.
Old Town North Farmers & Artisans Market
901 North Royal Street
Thursdays, 3 pm – 7 pm
Alexandria’s favorite dog friendly market! The Old Town North Thursday Market is a growers only market with a focus on produce from small family farms and local artisans. Products sold at the market include fresh fruits and veggies from Virginia’s Northern Neck, Micro Greens from an urban farm, Empanadas, Fresh baked pastries with a European flair and much more.
Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market
4109 Mount Vernon Avenue
Sundays, 9 am – 1 pm
This market offers fresh, nutritious food to people of all income levels and strives to reflect the diversity of Alexandria’s community. Local artisans display their arts and crafts as well
4800 Ben Brenaman Park
Sundays, 8:30 am – 1 pm
We love our market, our vendors and our customers in the community. Please come out and allow the West End to wow you with the wares of our wonderful vendors! Our market is also dog friendly unlike many others.
Due to the restrictions of the pandemic, these markets are currently open for limited on site shopping but preorders are strongly encourage. All guidelines suggested by the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health and the City of Alexandria are followed by the market managers and the vendors at these markets.