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Thursday Market opens at Town Run Tap House and Community Pub

By Staff | May 11, 2018

Tabitha Johnston/Chronicle Robb Balfour, of Robb’s Edge Express, tests a knife for customer Johnathan Clingenpeel, of Shepherdstown, during the Thursday market’s opening day last week.

The Thursday Market at Town Run Tap House and Community Pub held its opening day on May 3.

The market, which will be open every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m., will boast a variety of food and artisan vendors throughout the summer.

“We had a lot of friends in the agricultural community who were interested in a weeknight market, which is more accessible to families who might not have time to shop on the weekend because they work or want to entertain guests then,” said market manager Ashley Hoffman, who’s running the market with Lindsay Guild.

Keli Balfour, co-owner of Robb’s Edge Express, said the weeknight hours worked well for the business so far.

“They’ve had a good turnout for the first night; we’ve already done a good amount of business,” said Balfour, who runs the business full-time with her husband, Robb.

Along with sharpening blades, the couple sell everything from cutlery knives to pocket knives to sharpening stones, and will be at the market every first and third Thursday of the month.

Becky Jane Harrington, another vendor at the Thursday Market, sells handmade clothing made with recycled or vintage fabrics. Harrington, who will be at the market the first Thursday of every month, will do small alterations and sell her original designs.

“I’ve always been into fashion, and wanted to make clothing fit people better,” said Harrington, who graduated from the Apparel Arts training center in Oakland, California.

She said she buys unused spools of fabric from thrift stores and estate sales, then washes them with a touch of ammonia to remove the old smell, before sewing with the fabric.

“I like the process of making something from nothing, including making all of my own patterns-it’s therapeutic, I guess,” Harrington said, as she sewed reusable grocery bags out of used chicken feed bags.

Leslie Randall co-owns Green Gate Farm in Shepherdstown with partner Lars Prillaman. They sell pastured pork and vegetables.

“I’ve been farming for nine years, but I didn’t grow up on a farm,” Randall said, adding that she studied ecology and environmental studies in college, which led her to do several internships at local farms and eventually start her own.

Fellow farmer Anis Elkharroubi, who emigrated with his family from Belgium when he was young, has run Belle Prairie Farm for four years.

“When we first got here, it was tough finding good things to eat,” Elkharroubi, whose food is certified naturally grown, said. “Then my family bought a house in the country, and I saw I had a huge opportunity to do something good for my own health, and for other peoples’ as well.”