Dan Hine, founder of EatLoCo Marketplace talks how he and other vendors, Wicked Goat Coffee and Liberty Delight Farms, inspire his local community to eat healthy.
EatLoCo’s newest farmers’ market opens in Purcellville on Saturday, April 21.
THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON LOUDOUN NOW.
The market will operate from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Dragon Hops parking lot along Main Street and will feature more than 20 vendors, including area farmers and artisans. EatLoCo co-owner Dan Hine said the market would open and close an hour earlier than most farmers’ markets so it would not overlap with the brewery’s business hours. Vendors will set up shop in the larger parking lot on the west side of the brewery, with parking available in the smaller lot on the eastern side.
With the deal between EatLoCo and Dragon Hops finalized just two weeks ago, Hine said he was optimistic that the partnership will be long lasting and benefit both parties. Jamie Horris, president of the brewery—which plans a May 5 opening—said the partnership began when Hine coincidentally stopped in to introduce himself during a business meeting.
“That was a pretty serendipitous, good meeting that we had there,” Horris said. “[The EatLoCo owners] share the same branding and message that we do.”
This will be the third farmers’ market that EatLoCo has opened in four months. In December, it took over the market in One Loudoun, which was previously managed by the Loudoun Valley HomeGrown Markets Cooperative, and it opened its Brambleton market earlier this month. EatLoCo also plans to open two markets in the Village at Leesburg this year, one outdoors and one inside the former Smokehouse Live space that is now occupied by Chefscape.
While EatLoCo started as a blog in 2016 to promote healthy eating and local produce, Hine and co-owner Linna Walz quickly realized that the company could additionally give farmers and consumers a venue to do business. EatLoCo charges vendors one of two weekly fees—$35 for those who commit to an entire year and $50 for those who prefer to set up as drop-in vendors. It does not charge them a percentage of what they make.
“We wanted to help the farmers succeed through professional advertising,” Hine said. “Establishing and promoting farmers’ markets is one of many ways we are helping our communities support farms.”
The EatLoCo Purcellville market will be open for business every Saturday year round. Hine said his company is looking to launch an eCommerce website next year that will allow farmers to sell their produce and proteins online to individuals and restaurants.
“This will help our farmers sell more product during the week and in larger quantities,” he said. “This will help them tremendously during non-market days.”
ChefScape will also house the county’s first year-round indoor farmers market, in partnership with EatLoco.
Along with giving the public an opportunity to purchase farm-grown produce even in the coldest months, the market will be an important opportunity for farmers to sell directly to restaurants and other food service industry professionals. In fact, the first hour of the Thursday market, from 3-4 p.m., will be for food service industry professionals only.
“They’d love to sell to restaurants but it’s very hard for them to make these connections,” EatLoco founder Dan Hine said. “We’re bringing the restaurants to them. Anything we can do for the farmers we do.”
Hine said the hope is restaurants and other users like bed-and-breakfasts and hotels will place standing orders with the farms. By picking up food on a Thursday it can be used for the busy weekends, with the stock replenished or new items ready by the following Thursday, he said. There will be room for about 40 vendors at the farmers market, which will be open to the public every Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m.
ChefScape expects to be open to the public by July 1, although the farmers market may open prior to that, Grivas said.
Read the whole article on Loudoun Now here.
A big thank you to WDVM for covering the Brambleton Marketplace’s Grand Opening yesterday! We’d like to clear up that EatLoco, LLC is solely responsible for the launch and management of the Eatloco Brambleton Marketplace, with the full support of the Brambleton HOA Town Center.
What a difference a little sunshine and warmth can make!
Let’s face it…the winter months were hard. We were caught in a consistently bad weather cycle that saw high-winds, deep freeze, and torrential downpours in 8 out of the last 12 Saturdays. It was a challenging time for our vendors dealing with elemental circumstances beyond anyone’s control and the resulting relatively light foot-traffic.
But this weekend we saw what a normal weather-free market should be!
At One Loudoun, the Saturday Farmer and Artisan marketplace started at its new and permanent location on Atwater Drive with great visibility to Route 7 traffic. As a result, the return of many long-standing faithful customers was accompanied by many new customers who specifically mentioned they were attracted to the market activity while they were driving.
The market started at a relatively moderate pace but rapidly and consistently picked up momentum after the first hour. In all, there were close to 500 people passing though the market enjoying the professional music, hot breakfast and lunch choices, live farm animals, and the many wonderful vendor products. Of course, with Easter weekend in particular, it was also great to see the many, many families with children enjoying the Easter Egg hunt! It was so busy that nobody really noticed the formal market closing time as people kept coming in!
Not to be outdone, the new EatLoco Sunday market at Brambleton also had an exceptional inaugural day. With customer counts nearing 600 people, there were many local residents expressing both gratitude and excitement about having their very own weekly farmer and artisan market right out their font door. With a myriad of vendor products and services to choose from, the live entertainment, and the sound of children’s laughter all thoughout, it was a very special day indeed.
EatLoco is extremely thankful to its vendors, supporters, sponsors, and especially to its customers who made such a wonderful weekend possible.
All we can say is “Thank You!”