Fewer vendors at Meriden market held on rain date

Fewer vendors at Meriden market held on rain date

reporter photo

MERIDEN — Rain that occurred in June put a damper on vendor attendance Saturday at the Summer Pop-Up Market on the Meriden Green.

“Because this is rescheduled from a rain date, we should have had more vendors,” market organizer Carrie Teele said.

She said they had about 70 vendors signed up for the event on June 23. It was rescheduled due to the ground being too wet on the original date. 

Only 50 or so had paid for a spot at Saturday’s event. About half of them had arrived by the afternoon start of the market.

“A lot of things go into play, plus it’s a holiday weekend,” Teele said.

Vendors sold a variety of merchandise, from handmade items like wood puzzles, body products and clothing, to direct sales of Avon and Tupperware.

Food truck attendance also dipped.

Ten to 15 trucks were scheduled for June. Five were able to make it Saturday, which happened to be the same day as the New England Food Truck Festival at Mohegan Sun.

Food trucks offerings included pizza, Italian ice, tacos and waffles.

The music, however, went on as scheduled. Terri and Rob, an acoustic duo, played in the market. The evening concert featured the Bernadettes, a rhythm and blues dance band on the Green’s stage.

Many of the vendors that were able to attend were locals. Davina Ismail, of Meriden, sold children’s clothing at the market under her business, Dribble Babies.

She founded the brand five years ago, making water-resistant bibs to keep her son, who had acid reflux as a baby, dry.

“I grew up in England, and in England we say dribble and not drool,” Ismail said, “so we use to say he’s always dribbling.”

She’s expanded into a line of locally-made, hand-sewn children’s clothes, including hoodies, reversible jackets, dresses and shirts, many of which are designed for children’s growth and comfort.

This was her first pop-up market, but she also sold at the market held prior to the Michael Jackson Experience concert on the green in July.

She said the rainy summer affected her ability to sell at other events, whether the turnout wasn’t great due to rain or the events were canceled altogether.

“That’s kind of tough,” she said, “but it’s the nature (of the business).”

Milton Brooks, of New Haven, sold African products including shea butter, black soap, fluoride-free toothpaste and body oils.

His company, Kenzie Kare, is named after his young daughter, who liked to bag the products and handle the money, Brooks said.

He also sold his handmade body butter at the July market on the green. 

He sells online, so the rainy weather affected his summer selling less.

“I think I had two maybe rain-outs, but they had rain dates,” he said. “Never know how those days would have worked out if it wasn’t for the rain.”

The market is organized by the Twilight Concert Series, under Restore with the Arts. The group is planning a holiday light festival on Colony Street on Nov. 24, including a tree lighting, horse-drawn carriage hay ride and Santa Claus arriving by train. 



Twitter: @LCTakores


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