Giving roots to small businesses: Amarillo Community Market returns for 3rd summer

Giving roots to small businesses: Amarillo Community Market returns for 3rd summer
Downtown Amarillo (Source: KFDA)
Nuke City Veg (Source: KFDA)
Nuke City Veg (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - In a time of hardship, Danny Melius turned to his garden.

"Started gardening for myself and then I was laid off at Hastings as it started to go into bankruptcy and I had some produce that was available and harvested it and signed up for the market to see if I could maybe turn this into a job," said Melius, of Nuke City Veg.

His experience at the first Amarillo Community Market was a success, giving roots to a new business.

"I sold out the first day in 10 minutes," said Melius. "So I decided this was the route I was going to try and take after Hastings."

According to Center City, other small businesses have also grown their businesses beyond the market.

"Some of these vendors have started their own year-round business based on their success at the market," said Beth Duke, Executive Director of Center City.

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The third year of the Community Market debuts this weekend, running through Oct. 6.

Those attending this year's Community Market can start at 10th and walk along Polk Street, turn right at 11th and continue along to Tyler, experiencing 110 vendors along the way.

New to this year's market is an emphasis on wellness and education.

"We're going to have Zumba, we're going to have yoga, and tomorrow, we're even going to have a woman who's going to teach you how to knit," said Duke. "We're trying to just get everything interactive and get involved. We say get out of the house, come outside, come to the market and talk to the people who create."

Center City says the market also has a wide-reaching impact throughout downtown.

"In the past, Saturday morning was kind of dull downtown. There wasn't much activity," said Duke. "Now, our restaurants have increased their traffic for lunch and for brunch, and tomorrow, we hope to even have two pedicabs running from market down to the restaurants and it's a fun way to spend the morning downtown

For Nuke City Veg, the overall market experience is rewarding.

"It's given us really great exposure. Just starting out, we didn't have much in way of marketing so it was a way for us to meet the community, get our stuff out there," said Melius.

With the community experience, the third year of the market is expected to bring more opportunities for the months ahead.

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