WAXAHACHIE

Rain or shine, the Downtown Waxahachie Farmers Market saw another year of growth in 2018, according to financial numbers recently released.

The year-end report for the Downtown Farmers Market was released Tuesday, Jan 22 and broke down the finances for the market’s 2018 season. According to the report, the market generated $155,709.96 in total revenue for the year, which is nearly a two percent increase from the previous year’s $152,659.04 in revenue.

The first half of the season saw more considerable growth for the market than the second half did. According to the report, the market grossed $99,263.56 in its first 14 weeks of the season, while the last 13 weeks grossed a total of $56,446.40. The market’s most successful day came on its April 28 grand opening, with 29 vendors aiding in the market’s $8,576.50 earnings.

Downtown development director Anita Brown said the market was initially on-track to gross over $200,000 for the 2018 season, which would have been a first in its history.

But then the weather rained on the market’s parade – literally.

“It started raining in September, and it didn’t really stop until November,” Brown explained. “It almost seemed like every Saturday.”

A record 14.51 inches of rain fell in October throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. Brown stated Ellis County saw more than its fair share of that weather, especially during the farmers market season.

The market’s lowest day of earnings was Oct. 13 with $1,021 in net gross. Brown also noted that was one of the harshest flooding days as well, and even indicated that in her report.

Still, Brown was pleased with how the market was still able to outpace the 2017 earnings even in spite of the soggy weather conditions. She paid credit to last season’s 45 vendors, whom she said are most responsible for the market’s continuous success.

“They’re like the salt of the earth people,” Brown said. “Many of the vendors have been with us since it started in 2006. Many have been there for 10 years or longer.”

Leah Martinez, who owns Rancho Martinez restaurant in Waco, has sold her family’s tamales and flour tortillas at the farmers market since 2014. She said they keep coming back to the market year after year on a biweekly basis because of how it increases her customer base.

“I’ve been surprised across the board how dedicated some of these people are out there,” Martinez expressed. “When they know they’re going to be there, they come, grab their tamales and leave. They love our products. We don’t want to let them down.”

Brown said the market saw a $15,000 increase in gains from 2016 to 2017. With the weather permitting, she said the market hopes to see similar growth in 2019.

“It’s like a family reunion,” Brown stated. “They don’t just go there to sell stuff. It’s their way to socialize too.”

The Downtown Waxahachie Farmers Market re-opens in April. Applications for vendors will be available online in March at www.waxahachie.com/departments/downtown_development.