Bruce F. Griffin
COPLEY: Farmers market organizer Lois Mitchell is learning that keeping a new business afloat means not only creating but also expanding a customer base.
She organized a venture earlier this year to acquaint Copley residents with farm fresh produce and area history, to a time when farms covered the landscape and farmers bargained with residents at local markets.
Mitchell is now putting together a pumpkin festival scheduled for Oct. 18 to attract more customers before the open air seasonal market closes at the end of the month. "We could use more customers," she said.
To reach a wider audience she developed a newsletter and a new website, copleycreeksidefarmersmarket.com. The name is from the location of a set of small specialty shops of just north of Copley Circle off Cleveland-Massillon Road.
Mitchell, who lives in Stow, makes "American doll clothes" for The River City Gift Shoppe, located 1265 S. Cleveland-Massillon Rd. The market's venue is a field next to the shop.
The market officially opened July 26 with approximately a dozen farm stands. It is set to close Oct. 25, but in the meantime will remain open Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Initially when she came up with the idea and looked at the market's future, Mitchell said she could see a non-profit venture with a board of directors of area farmers.
More recently she said the advice she’s received from people is that "it takes time to get started."