By Marthe Stinton, email@example.com
Reprinted with permission of the McKinney Courier-Gazette
One of the clearest signs of the season is new life, which is exactly what the Historic McKinney Farmers Market is celebrating with the new Adriatica Farmers Market.
The Historic McKinney Farmers Market is venturing out to west McKinney and making a new home in Adriatica — a Croatian-inspired village complete with a lake, chapel, lawn and shops. Although the ribbon cutting is scheduled for mid-April and there has been little advertising for the market, vendors have tiptoed into the Stonebridge Ranch community bringing with them produce, meats, flowers and more.
“We’re taking people back to the way shopping was done before,” said Cindy Johnson, executive director for the Heritage Guild of Collin County. “It builds a sense of community and more.”
Vendors are currently setting up in a parking lot while their permanent residence is under construction and, as of last week, a large temporary sign will soon be placed for the market.
“One of the challenges we’ve had has been letting people know we are here and what we offer,” Johnson said.
However, at last Thursday’s market there were not only two meat vendors, but a flower vendor and a jewelry vendor who had made the trek to nestle into their new market digs. With this turnout it seems sellers are not discouraged by the lack of advertising, nor do they shy away from the new venture.
More vendors are expected to join once the weather gets warmer and the market gets bigger.
The Blackard Group, developers for Adriatica, says they have always wanted an authentic farmers market. According to Puc Westrupp, a spokesperson for the Blackard Group, the long-term plan for the Adriatica Farmers Market is to put the market in permanent stalls down by the Adriatica field.
“These stalls each come equipped with running water, electricity, air and heat, and are roofed with clay tiles just like the rest of the village,” Westrupp said. “We will be starting construction of these stalls within the next month.”
The builders, especially Jeff Blackard, have emphasized the fact that the Croatian-inspired village needs to be authentic and have all of the components one would see in a real Croatian village.
“Europeans for years have been able to keep the essence of community by living village life on a daily basis,” Westrupp said. “The end goal for Adriatica is just that — you can truly walk out your front door and step straight into village life and all the benefits that come with it.”
Johnson agrees with Blackard’s vision, adding, “The whole themed market really makes it a destination.”
The Stonebridge Ranch Community Association is also welcoming the new market and sees it as a hot commodity for the area.
“Many residents will appreciate the close proximity of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables in an open-air market, and when the remainder of the harbor district is complete, it will be even better,” said Pablo Ruiz, Stonebridge Ranch community association board president.
The Historic McKinney Farmers Market at Chestnut Square is open 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday. The Adriatica Farmers Market is open from 1 to 5 p.m. every Thursday and Sunday. For information visit chestnutsquare.com or call 972-562-8790.
FARMERS MARKET. CHESTNUT SQUARE. MCKINNEY. IMPRESS ME MEDIA