JAMES CITY-When the Williamsburg Farmers Market shutdown last spring due to the covid-19 pandemic, frequent market vendors Maureen Anderson, owner of Tasha’s Own homemade soaps and her daughter, Ainslie O’Rourke, owner of Virginia Bread Company, began selling their products out of Anderson’s yard in Toano.
“We couldn’t afford not to have our income,” Anderson said.
Through word-of-mouth and social media, momentum grew and the Toano Open Air Market was soon born.
Toano Open Air Market returns for a second season on March 6 with Anderson as manager. Fully 16 vendors including Tasha’s Own and Virginia Bread Company will be available outside in a greenspace at the corner of Church Lane and Richmond Road each Saturday from 9 am to 1pm.
The producer only market consists of local small business owners who sell products including raw honey, fresh eggs, breads, coffee, kombucha, cheese, oysters, clams, and other seafood, and fruits and vegetables.
In addition, Toano Open Air Market will feature food trucks and musical entertainment. Anderson hopes to add more vendors later in the season.
“We are looking to build a sense of community here,” Anderson said. “We want people to come out and enjoy themselves. It’s a good way to support the local economy.”