Rachel George The Times
What started as a great idea among friends has now come to fruition and will be producing real fruit in downtown Gretna this summer.
Carrie Rittmeyer, community engagement coordinator for the Gretna-area Chamber of Commerce, said she and Gretna Mayor Mike Evans have been talking about having a farmers’ market since before they took office.
Last year, the city posted online that it was looking for someone interested in helping coordinate a farmers market in Gretna.
Months later, Gretna City Council was approached by Briana Bodino of Ashland—a soap maker that helped revive the Ashland farmers market in 2022—with an interest in helping lead the Gretna Farmers Market.
“She’s really excited about this continuing and has high hopes for it as well,” said Rittmer.
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The city has approved the idea — and will help provide portable toilets — and the event will be organized through the Chamber. The brainchild of Bodino, the Summer Market is organized by a four-person committee consisting of Bodino, Rittmeyer, Pat Gilmore, and Janelle Ronk.
The Farmers Market is expected to be held weekly on Saturday mornings downtown along McKenna Street from 8 a.m. to noon, running from June 3 to October 28.
The organizers aim to stick to the marketplace’s mission statement, which states the intent to provide a space for community members to support each other and for suppliers to support community members by giving them something they want and need, as well as a community opportunity to support vendors.
“The goal is to give our community something that we think is needed and desired,” said Rittmer. Throughout our region, many people are engaged in gardening and home crafts. This is a place for them to bring in their goods and sell them.”
A number of residents have come forward and offered to volunteer, and we welcome many of them.
Along with local produce and handmade items, food trucks will also be on site each week. The plan is to rotate different trucks in and out for the week.
“I think it’s going to be bigger than any of us expected,” said Rittmer.
Interested sellers can email [email protected] or contact the Gretna Chamber of Commerce. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.
“We are always looking to bring new things to our run,” said Rittmeyer. “It’s especially fun and cute when it includes the downtown area.”