By: Southern Britt
Athens, Ga—A community gathers for food and fun at the Athens Farmers Market hosted by Creature Comforts Brewing Company every Wednesday from 4-7 p.m.
The colorful mid-week market makes grocery shopping more than an errand; fresh food, music and beer can be found connecting farmers, community members and artisans in downtown Athens. In providing a marketplace for locally grown foods and handcrafted goods, the market allows for a healthy economic and educational dynamic in the Athens community, including education about and support of local sustainable agriculture.
“You can expect to see families, babies, dogs, people eating vegetables. It’s a pretty friendly atmosphere,” said market volunteer and regular Arianna Mantas.
Mantas exemplifies the Athens Farmers Market’s special type of community, as she used to attend as a customer, but now volunteers regularly and considers this market her family.
“It’s good company, it’s good people. It kind of became the family I wanted to be a part of,” said Mantas.
Athens Farmers Market accredits much of its success largely to the help and generosity of Creature Comforts Brewing Company, as Creature Comforts helped the market evolve into what is is today.
Creature Comforts plays a huge part in the market. For every beer purchased during the market, the brewing company gives $2 worth of tokens to spend at the event. As further encouragement to the market, they even repaved its pavement grey to help make it less hot for the vendors.
It was not until Creature Comforts encouraged the market and its community “to explore something people maybe haven’t been exposed to” that the market really began booming and became profitable (as Mantas said).
The Wednesday farmers market is over a decade old. Once the brewing company volunteered its help and space, the evolution of the AFM began. From Bishop Park, then to the Courthouse, and finally at Creature Comforts, the market has surpassed all odds and continued to be an asset to its farmers and customers.
The market will continue cultivating its family community through music, food, art, and beer every Wednesday until November 14, 2019.