CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Southside Farmers Market is open to the community each and every Saturday, and business is booming, but that was not always the case.
"The first two weeks were terrible," said vendor Sherry Castle. "Sales were down to next-to-nothing, and we had virtually no business."
Castle, the owner of Sherry's Jams N' Jellies, is referring to when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit home. As the crisis reached the Coastal Bend, farmers and local vendors found themselves in dire straits.
"It was really frightening to begin with," Castle said. "That is a big source of my revenue."
Business picked up at the farmers market as grocery stores became tougher to navigate. The community turned its attention to supporting local.
"It was important to us to stay open," vendor Amanda Mathews said. "We are providing essential food items for families."
During the peak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, many essential businesses were permitted to stay open. The Southside Farmers Market implemented the same policy with its vendors.
"Many of our non-essential vendors actually decided to stay home so that we could support, and make sure there was plenty of space for, our essential food vendors," she said. "Which was amazing."
The market has been around for more than 25 years. Now perhaps during one of the vendors' darkest times, the community it feeds reciprocated their efforts.
"It kept me alive," Castle said.
It is the simplest form of local-supporting-local, and it doesn't get any better than that.