COLLEGEVILLE — Collegeville Farmers’ Market is on a real “power” trip this year.
As it opens for its third market season on May 4, one of the local shopper’s favorite haunts for engaging in homegrown commerce is relocating across the street to the grounds of Davinci’s Pub, where it will be empowered by plenty of parking at the adjoining Power House Antique and Flea Market lot.
The market simply outgrew its original space behind the AmeriGreen Gas Station, noted Cathy Kernen, co-chair of the Collegeville Farmers’ Market committee and president of the Collegeville Economic Development Corp.
“We needed more space in order to attract more vendors and grow our market. We were maxed out at 23 vendors at the previous site,” she explained. “We needed more space for customer parking. Lou’s Too, a popular Trappe Restaurant, moved their restaurant adjacent to our market site, and although we had limited parking for handicapped patrons and parents with small children before, we were afraid that operating our market on the same parking lot as that of a popular restaurant would not provide enough parking for both of us.”
Lack of visibility from a road that sees as much traffic as Main Street was hindering potential business from drive-by shoppers at the AmeriGreen Gas location, Kernen added.
“Our previous market was hidden in a parking lot behind the gas station, and we wanted to take advantage of the increased number of passers-by in cars who use Route 29 daily.”
Davinci’s Pub, which opens at 11 a.m. on Saturdays, will likely see a boost in business, but the Power House is closed on Saturdays.
“We’re only open Sundays, and the Farmers’ Market is only there Saturdays, so they asked about using our parking lot,” said Power House owner Sue Gorski. “It should be interesting to see what happens.”
Ultimately, the Power House may be persuaded to open its doors on the odd Saturday, hatching the sort of farmers’-flea market paradise many shoppers dream about.
The new site has parking for roughly 80 cars in the Power House lot, and about 25 cars for handicapped and parents with small children in the DaVinci’s front lot — “a vast improvement,” Kernen allowed.
With no trees to block the sun, the original location put a little too much summer sizzle into shopping, but the Collegeville Farmers’ Market will have it made in the shade with the change of scenery.
“The DaVinci-Power House parking lot includes a back grassy, wooded area shaded by mature trees,” Kernen said. “This wooded area will be the location for about half our vendors and of our picnic tables for our customers to enjoy our food events and for our kids’ area.”
As an added perk, the new location puts the market in view of walkers, joggers and bikers on the Perkiomen Creek Trail.
Fans of the market will note many returning favorites and some new enticements in this year’s mix of vendors: All Hands in the Cookie Jar; Annie Pod Press; A’dello Vineyard; Behmerwald Nursery; Bendy Brook Farm; Bigg Dutt’s BBQ Sauce; Fathead Peppers; Green Source International; Fresha Peel Hummus; Iced By Betsy; Jenny & Frank’s Artisan Gelato; Joe Paw’s Dog Bakery; Jubilee Hill Farm; Jones Feed & Seed; Kay Bryant Design; Little Lost Creek Alpaca Farm; Longview Farm Market; Maiden Extracts & Spices; Marcy’s Granola; Neil’s Sharpening Service; North Star Orchard; Old Mill Gourmet; Philading; PV Produce; SunLeaf Gardens; Ursinus College Farm and Yellow Springs Farm.
The realtor’s time-honored credo “location, location, location” gives Collegeville Farmers Market, which is open through Nov. 23, a bull’s-eye commercial advantage in the Davinci’s-Power House setting.
“We want to hold joint promotions with the market and Main Street businesses,” Kernen said. “We will now be across from the Collegeville Shopping Center and Collegeville Station and near the majority of the food and retail businesses of our Borough.”
As the summer season starts to kick in, growers will help the market celebrate a grand opening on June 15.
The Collegeville Farmers’ Market is located at 217 E. Main St., Collegeville and is open Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.