Marketplace seeking vendors

PARKERSBURG – When many shoppers discuss the new Downtown Farmers’ Marketplace, they talk about potential.

Soon, they’ll start seeing some of that fulfilled.

Eight regular vendors are set up for one or all of the three-day schedule in the Point Park Marketplace by the floodwall at 113 Ann St., with five more on the way and the city receiving inquiries from others.

“We’ve had other people stopping by, wanting to join the market,” Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell said. “There is still a lot of interest. There is still some space.”

There are two greenhouses, a bakery, two food vendors and makers and peddlers of alpaca wool products, pet treats and eggs operating at the market, which opened for its new year-round schedule of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday on May 8.

Newell said the city, which owns the market through its Municipal Building Commission, has installed plumbing for required sinks for the Bread and Beyond Bakery, which will eventually prepare food on-site, as well as incoming operations Bersky’s Ice Cream and Italian Ice and Chef Yancy’s Five Star Grill.

Bersky’s owner Kirt Radabaugh, of Parkersburg, said he hopes to be up and running by mid-June.

“We’re going to be doing premium ice cream, also known as frozen custard,” he said. “It’s a real smooth, creamy ice cream.”

Some of the ice cream and Italian ice made at the market will be taken out on an ice cream truck that will operate in the city.

Chef Yancy Roush plans to have his venture up and running in June as well, offering pulled pork sandwiches, barbecued ribs, grilled chicken, various salads and more in what he described as small, healthy portions.

It will be a family affair, with Roush offering items like marinara sauce made by his daughter and quilts made by his mother. That’s part of the appeal, he said, along with the expectation of meeting people from all over the country and the world and helping a venture he sees as vital to downtown Parkersburg.

“My home city needs it, and I support it 100 percent,” Roush said. “And I’m going in 100 percent.”

Lapping the Couch, a bicycle and kayak rental business owned by John Wiseman and Parkersburg City Councilwoman Kim Coram, is setting up in a separate part of the building. Other incoming vendors include Toscano in Appalachia Winery, which is participating in the Taste of Parkersburg this weekend, and a business featuring products made in West Virginia, modeled after a similar operation at Charleston’s Capital Market.

“Everybody’s real excited about what’s up and coming,” said Kim Gant, Newell’s assistant and liaison to the market.

On Friday, some folks were getting their first look at the market, which moved to the Point Park site after spending six years at Bicentennial Park.

“I can’t wait ’til everything gets in here, so we can come back down,” said Belpre resident Pam Kaiden, shopping with her mother, Belma Nutter.

David Reynolds, with Dave’s Greenhouse in Ritchie County, was with the market from the beginning and is setting up on Fridays at the new location.

“I think the facilities are tremendous. The potential’s unbelievable,” he said.

Tammie Marks, with Heavenly Sunlight Country Store, said traffic has been steady since the market opened earlier this month.

“I’m sure it’s going to increase as we get more produce here and we get the food in here,” she said.

Gant said the market has drawn the interest of passengers on both school and tour buses as they come to Point Park to visit Blennerhassett Island.