Leslie Huffman knows the common perception of Cary, that it’s filled with chains and big box stores.
She’s hoping the Downtown Cary Food & Flea Market does a little to change people’s minds by highlighting local and regional talents.
The market, which will have its third outing on Sunday, Dec. 14, features a rotation of vendors selling handcrafted items, live music, food trucks and beer from Cary’s Fortnight Brewery. It will be from noon to 4 p.m. in the parking lot of Ashworth Village at the corner of Chatham and Academy streets.
“There’s so many talented people in Cary,” said Huffman, one of the co-coordinators. “We wanted to promote different crafters in Cary that have really unique items they can sell, and support local people.”
The idea for the market started in the spring with April Schlanger, who owned Sip ... a Wine Store until she moved her business online, and Jessica McCarthy, who owns the Humble Pig food truck and catering business. Huffman joined on to help with marketing and is now co-coordinator with Schlanger.
“We wanted to have another element to bring people downtown, No. 1,” Huffman said. “The music, the beer, we’re trying to make it a fun thing to do. You can have lunch after church on Sunday and check out some of the things we have.”
The first two markets were in front of the Ivey-Ellington House on West Chatham Street but had light traffic, due to bad weather, Huffman said. Ralph Ashworth of Ashworth Drugs offered the nearby parking lot, which Huffman hopes will bring better visibility and more people.
This month’s market is scheduled to have 15 to 20 vendors, including jewelry designers, Lucy2s (accessories made of recycled fabric), C.A. Candle Company, Leopold Designs (silk scarves), and photographer Elizabeth Galecke, who will take holiday photo sessions there. Schlanger’s new venture, Happyfoodwine, will be on site. Huffman said vintage items may be added in future markets.
“Beautiful things you’d feel good about giving as a gift or buying for yourself,” she said.
The market always will be held the second Sunday of the month, and Huffman said organizers want the market to be a monthly event “people can count on.” The market will take a break in January but will resume in February. Huffman said the market continues to accept vendor applications.
“We’re just beginning,” she said. “We hope to start taking off a little more.”