Barnwell Farmers Market stops Saturday operation

The Barnwell Farmers Market has hit a few bumps in the road during its first year, but city Parks and Recreation Director Mike Shumaker still thinks the future is bright.
The market, located at Fuller Park, will no longer operate on Saturdays due to low customer turnout, Shumaker said.
"They have been selling out on Tuesdays, but there's not a lot of sales on Saturdays," he said.
From now until October, the market will be open one day a week on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. But it will now let crafters and artisans operate as vendors. Before, only farmers selling produce and eggs were allowed.
The market opened in May and has averaged between 20 and 30 customers every Tuesday. Shumaker thought people driving through town - coming from and going to the coast - on the weekends would bring a lot of traffic. But that's not happening, he said.
The market has had two or three vendors each day during its first few months in operation. Shumaker had planned to start small and grow the market year-to-year, but he's learned people want more options.
"The reality is that what's drawing people to these markets is everything," he said.
Shumaker said he's been checking out other farmers markets and talking to people in the area about what they want to see at Fuller Park.
"I think it will add to the market," he said about bringing in new vendors. "We kept our ideals for the first year, but we're having to change course."
Looking at the situation in hindsight, Shumaker said they should have brought in artisans and crafters in the beginning. But he said it's just part of the growing pains.
"I think the location is awesome ... and we're gonna be successful for years to come," he said.
Anyone who would like to be a vendor or wants more information about the farmers market can contact Shumaker at (803) 259-3317 or at mshumaker@cityofbarnwell.com.