Farmers Market is the perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs
It's hard to imagine a better laboratory for budding business enterprises than the Crescent City Farmers Market that began its seasonal run Saturday at the fairgrounds.
Just ask Skylar Moore, a grand total of 10 years old. He's been preparing since last October for the market's opening Saturday, which was also the grand opening of Origami Creations by Skylar.
Colorful folded-paper products in the shapes of animals and boxes were spread across his vendor's table, and he was attracting quite a crowd of potential customers of all ages. While his proud parents sat in the background, Skylar and his friend Sebastian Monroe answered questions and, yes, made some sales.
"It started with these two little frogs" and led "to all this," Skylar said, spreading his arms across his vast inventory.
Skylar and Sebastian, both fifth-graders at Pine Grove Elementary, also have been taking the origami creations to school and around town. "It's a business tactic," said Sebastian.
They weren't the only ones getting their entrepreneurial feet wet on a sunny Saturday morning that offered up no wind but plenty of opportunity as the Farmers Market got off to an impressive start. It runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October.
Several business newcomers were making their debuts after participating in the Food Service Flight Training Program, a start-up class provided by the Small Business Development Center (for more information, call Janna Clemons at 464-2168).
"They've taken me through all the steps, I think it might work," said David Rivenburgh of Klamath Glen as he sold pulled pork and ribs at his booth. This was the premiere of Black Hat BBQ, a portable venture he also plans to take to the Fourth of July celebration, the Sea Cruise car show and the Klamath Blackberry Festival, while also providing catering services.
A few booths down, one of David's classmates, Tina Livingston, was selling cupcakes, cookies and other sweets - and taking orders for cakes - as she unveiled her new business, Delectable Delights by Tina.
"We'll see how it goes, it's a test pilot," Tina said. "If they really want a custom cake storefront, they have to start here."
She's been making cakes since 1988 for family and friends, but now, thanks to the Flight Training Program, she has "serve-safe certification" to run a business out of her home in Smith River.
Another of their classmates was debuting Ma Piglet's Jams and Relishes. Janet Jones and her granddaughter, Kami Stary, 10, offered up samples and made sales. Janet taught Kami how to can food in preparation for the roll-out.
That all sounds pretty homegrown, but Janet and her classmates said they learned the ropes of running proper, legal food-service businesses in the program.
"I was very impressed with all of them and the way they followed the health and safety rules, said Farmers Market coordinator Ron Phillips of Rural Human Services. "Overall, the food looked good and smelled great."
Reach Laura Wiens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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