Meridian Farmers’ Market Brings Generations of Entrepreneurs Together

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Starting in June and finishing in October, Meridian Townships Farmers’ Market opened to the public every Wednesday and Saturday. The Market features food trucks, vendors, and farmers of all ages selling a vast range of products. The Market is unique in its community and showcases local talents across many generations.

Market vendor and entrepreneur Malinda Barris is a farmers’ market professional with over three years under her belt selling handmade beeswax body care products. Barris and her husband work to educate their customers about the benefits of beeswax. 

“We sell 100% Michigan beeswax and beeswax products made into body care,” said Barris.

Barris shared that Meridian Township makes its own efforts in helping their vendors gain traction by facebook posts and organizing the location. The township’s website also features updates and information about the Saturday and Wednesday markets, and who is set to appear at the market that week. The market greatly impacts the community and brings people together.

“I live here and own a business here, and have had something here for sixty years of my life. It is definitely a needed necessity in this market,” said Barris.

Barris utilizes social media to advertise her product along with having a flawless product served with exceptional customer service. She acknowledges the benefits of a community market and how it attracts creative locals to turn their talents into a business. 

“Farmers’ markets are a great way to promote entrepreneurialism,” said Barris.

Entrepreneurs in Meridian Township vary greatly, including all parts of their community. Nine year old Anika Block, sells handmade bracelets and is a first time vendor at the Meridian farmers market. Block got involved in the market through her community.

“My sister actually brought it up and I thought it was a good idea,” said Block.

Block puts time and effort into her craft, balancing school and her business, which she runs with the help of her family. Her handmade bracelets are crafted with an array of different colored beads.

“I have this automatic bead spinner and I have a needle, and then I turn the bead spinner on and put some beads in there and the beads get onto the needle and I pull the beads onto the string.” Block said.

Block plans to expand her business using facebook marketplace to sell her product. Block, being only nine years old, does not advertise on social media just yet, but entrepreneur Katie Rizzi utilizes her website to sell her decorated vegan cookies to a larger market.

Katie Rizzi has been selling at the Meridian Township Farmers’ Market for three months. She is an Okemos resident and active member of her community and recognizes the individuality of Meridian Farmers’ market.

“Everyone who walks by has been very kind,” said Rizzi, “I think that’s kind of unique”. 

Starting with her grandmother’s recipe, Rizzi taught herself how to create intricate designs from promposals to baby shower cookies. Her website allows customers to order custom designs for personal events, but Rizzi sells her own designs at the market.  

“I think it just kind of generates excitement,” said Rizzi about the Market’s community impact, “especially for Saturdays it’s something to do.”

The Meridian Township Farmers’ Market benefits its vendors, creating a platform for entrepreneurs of all types to promote their products. It brings community members together and exposes them to local businesses and talents. These vendors express their gratitude towards the Market and how it impacts their lives.

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