The Morgan's Grove Market will launch this weekend, May 7, and organizer Peter Corum is hoping this market will build economic sustainability in the Shepherdstown and Eastern Panhandle communities.
Corum, a branch manager at Franklin American Mortgage Company, said in the past five years he has seen a lot of economic hardship on locals through loss of homes and jobs. And as an advocate of entrepreneurship, he hopes the model created through the market can help some people get back on their feet.
"The world has an economic model based on infinite growth," he said. "I'm targeting local solutions in what we're trying to do."
The market will be junction where local food growers, artisans and musicians come to showcase their products, something Corum said will be convenient for both the consumer and the vendor.
"It's going to be a collaboration," he said. "It's very synergistic."
But don't call this collaborative effort, running May through September, a farmers market.
"I thought from a sustainable stand point coming out of the box, I needed more than a farmers market," Corum said.
So Sustainable Shepherdstown will offer 10x10 plots for $20 at a community garden and there will also be opportunities for health and fitness, as well.
Vendors can also rent out a 10x10 booth for $20, Corum said.
"We want to eliminate the barriers of entry for people," he said.
And with applications coming in to fill those vacant booths, Corum sees the Morgan's Grove Market having endless possibilities.
"It's going to grow. No pun intended, but it's going to be organic in growth," he said.
Corum also expressed thanks to Ellen Smith of Sustainable Shepherdstown, who heads up the community garden effort; Dawn Childs, AmeriCorps VISTA and market manager; and Mary Beth Kilmer, music manager.
Corum hopes this "grassroots movement" helps individuals take back financial control that they may have lost a while ago through plowing ahead with their local business efforts.
"It's about inspiring people to get out there and pursue their dreams," he said.