BOYLE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — In the midst of the pandemic, two Boyle County leaders put their heads together to create a marketplace for nonprofit and Kentucky Proud businesses to help small businesses stay afloat.
Danville Country Club Marketing and Membership Director Laura Richard and Danville-Boyle Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jeff Jewel realized there was a missing opportunity for vendors who usually set up shop at the Danville Farmers Market.
"We thought with COVID going on, how can we provide a safe shopping environment for local goods for those who don't have a storefront?" Richard said.
They opened up the Danville Country Club ballroom on six Thursdays, with the last night on Dec. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Richard said the vendors "vary from food, so we have you know pork producers, cheese producers...sourdough breads, and then beef producers, and also we have local makers and artists. So it's just a wide variety, you can get stuff for your meals, or you can get stuff for gifts."
Richard explained without the market, vendors told her the sales options were bleak.
"You're down to, you know, word-of-mouth marketing, social media marketing, and just selling off your own websites, and so that makes it really tough," she said. "Especially just to get the word out a lot of people don't know who these vendors are so they may want to support them, but they don't even know they're there to support so this gives them a hub to do that and get their name out there."
She said the market had been such a success that she and Jewel are looking at extending the market into 2021.
"I think it's huge, and I think a lot of people would agree. I mean, anytime you can literally support your community, in your community, it's, it's, you know, it just it feels good, you know that you're doing a direct impact," said Richard. "I mean, especially for those that are vendors, they are selling you food to literally put on your table, and you supporting them are literally putting food on theirs. So, I mean, that's just a really exciting, I think, concept."
For the latest updates on the market or to register a business, reach out to the Night Market on Boyle County Farmers Market's Facebook page, Danville Country Club's Facebook page, or register your email with the Danville-Boyle Chamber of Commerce.