Hancock Co. Farmer's Market struggles for survival

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Hancock County Farmer's Market has sat unused for the past five months. The $400,000 facility on Longfellow Road replaced the market destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

The market reopened last year just in time for spring, initially giving vendors three days a week to sell their merchandise. That was scaled back to two days a week and now it's closed.

"It just died down. Nobody showed up and the vendors quit showing up, too," said Frank Brickey.

"If there are no customers, it's hard to sit out there all evening," said Terry Hester, creator of Terry's Crafts & Woodwork.

Frank Brickey used to sell Frank's Art's and Crafts at the Farmer's Market. He and other former vendors say by the time the Hancock County market reopened, most of the vendors had established themselves at other farmer's markets outside of the county.

"It's just not moving yet. It's a shame that it isn't moving. It's going to take time and advertisement," Brickey said.

County leaders are hoping to give the market a boost by building three large pavilions on the grounds, and by improving the road leading to a nearby soccer complex.

"What's going to go back will hopefully bring the farmer's market back full swing. Tied to soccer, hopefully it will go hand in hand when we get these pavilions built. They will have a steady stream of people during the right times of the year that they can sell their goods to," said Hancock County Engineer Jeff Clemens.

Construction will start on the new pavilions in about three weeks and should be finished in June.

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