West Columbia’s Meeting Street Artisan Market has been a very beneficial venue in a time of coronavirus crisis.
It’s open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturdays at 425 Meeting Street, behind the Terra restaurant and inside of West Columbia’s Interactive Art Park.
There is plenty of City of West Columbia free parking, too. A 12-month business license to be a vendor in the market is only $10.
“The market has been a really good experience,” said Holli McGee. She is the owner of Mopickles, and a real estate agent and a seamstress. She sells custom-made masks to fight the spread of coronavirus.
Because of her heart condition, McGee has quarantined, and has not sold real estate during the coronavirus crisis than began in March.
“I feel safe at the market,” said McGee. She said it is outside and all of the vendors are distanced so she does not feel threatened.
Colleen Otte manages the Artisan Market for the City of West Columbia. She said the market offers a chance for people to get out while practicing social distancing safety.
“Everyone is very respectful,” said Otte. She said the added precautions including hand-sanitizing stations and spacing vendors booths allows for a great experience while adhering to social distancing standards.
“People really wanted to get out of the house,” said Otte, and the market offered them that opportunity in an outdoor setting. And lately there’s been an added benefit.
“We’ve had gorgeous weather,” said Otte, and there has been an increase in traffic at the market.
McGee said because of the customer base she has established at the Meeting Street Artisan Market, she’s expanding.
“I make fleece wraps for women,” said McGee. She also makes heirloom children’s clothing. All of her creations will be marketed at the Meeting Street Artisan Market.
McGee said there are a lot of other talented vendors at the market, and that is why it is successful. From jewelry and artwork to leather goods and produce, there’s a lot to buy. And the product lines are expanding.
“We’ve added 15 new vendors since last year,” said Otte.
One of the most popular sites at the market is Simpson’s Boiled Peanuts. McGee said she is a regular consumer of Jason Simpson, who boils and markets the peanuts.
“The peanuts are very good,” she said.
Simpson said while quarantining, he started boiling fresh crop jumbo green peanuts. His grandfather was a peanut farmer and taught him how to prepare them just right. As people began to request them more, he found that the Meeting Street Artisan Market was the perfect place to sell the peanuts.
“It’s been really good,” Simpson said. He said he’s thankful that West Columbia provides the market.
Because the vendors are doing so well at the Meeting Street Artisan Market, Otte said she expects the market will keep growing. Right now, Savage Craft Ale Works is being constructed beside the market. When it is complete, there will be more room for Meeting Street Artisan Market vendors.
The market is now year-round instead of seasonally, said Otte. She said patio heaters will be used in the cooler months.
So, come out and make a day of West Columbia’s Meeting Street Artisan Market. No matter if you are buying or selling, it’s a great place to catch up with friends and get a good deal on some really neat products.