When I go to the Statesboro Farmers Market on Saturdays (and now Tuesday nights), I tend to look at it as a time to pick up some produce and visit with my neighbors.
I do tend to forget, however, that this is a money making venture for those that come, set up their tables, and "hawk" their "wares." I was reminded of this recently when I came upon the Coffee Wagon.
The Coffee Wagon is literally that. It is a large, well appointed trailer that is equipped to sell coffee, cold drinks and other goodies. Owned and operated by Margo Wilde and Duane Blewett, the coffee wagon has become a centerpiece of the market.
"Duane and I had a coffee shop in Stilson," Wilde said. "It was always our intent to buy a mobile unit like this so we could sell coffee and drinks at different events. We ordered the wagon back in March, but it didn't come in until a couple of weeks ago."
During the time the wagon was on order, Wilde and Blewett set up their equipment under a tent each Saturday, building up a clientele and making friends.
"We are the same as the farmers," Wilde said. "This is very important to our livelihood. This is our business. Just being at the Farmers Market each week has gotten our name out, and given us a good local presence. We are so grateful that it is here."
In addition to serving as a launching pad for entrepreneurs, the market has also been very helpful for established businesses.
"Summers are very tough on a lot of local businesses," said Steve Jones, co-owner of the Sugar Magnolia Bakery in downtown Statesboro. "You have such a decrease in the overall population during the summer months. Being able to sell our products at the market each Saturday has meant a lot to our bakery. It has worked out so well."
Wilde said she heard that there were vendors selling coffee at the market on a sporadic basis, but no one there permanently. That is when she called market director Debra Chester to see if they could participate.
"Duane and I enjoy Statesboro so much, and just wanted to be a part of it," she said. "This has been the perfect way to do that."
So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
Got a scoop for Jan? Call her at (912) 489-9463 or email her at email@example.com