Elgin Farmers Market Attracts More Buyers and Sellers Than in 2020
The Elgin Farmer’s Market 21st season drew more buyers and sellers to downtown than in 2020, according to the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s end-of-season report.
DNA hosts the market which operated on Spring Street for 19 Fridays between June and November. An expected week was rained.
According to the report, 15,716 people visited the market in 2021, 1,825 more than in 2020. Forty sellers in total participated this year, with an average of 26 sellers per week. A total of 31 suppliers participated in 2020, with an average of 22 per week.
DNA Executive Director Jennifer Fukala said the market’s success is helping nearby downtown businesses.
“In a year of businesses trying to recover, I’m glad we’ve been able to bring this economic activity to downtown Elgin,” said Fukala.
The market introduced “Sip and Shop” this season, with Side Street Studio Arts serving alcohol that can be consumed within the perimeter of the market. Tim Brown of Broadview Farm and Gardens in Marengo said he liked the new feature.
“I think it improved the atmosphere,” said Brown, a returning salesperson. “People seemed to be having fun, lingering and shopping.”
DNA estimates that the total economic impact of the market on the downtown core was over $ 902,000 for the season. 61% of market visitors surveyed said they had engaged in other activities in downtown Elgin while visiting the market.
Fukala said a new question in the annual buyer survey asks them how much money they spend at the market and at businesses downtown. On average, market visitors spent $ 57.41.
The market hosted live entertainment and an interactive drum circle organized in partnership with the local association Poiema Studio.
Food was the biggest seller, with bread and baked goods, with produce, beverages, chocolate and candy the highest percentage of sales. Other vendors’ offerings included meats and eggs, sauces, handmade art and jewelry, homemade bags and looms, leather goods, body care vendors and health and wellness and knife sharpening.
Fukala said research is underway to add more to next year’s lineup.
“We are delighted to have excellent local farmers and vendors who have been with us for a long time, and we want to add to this group next year,” she said. “We’re going to see who makes great products in the Elgin area.”