“[Our markets are] really complementary,” Hood-Cree said. “It just makes sense that we work on it together and complement each other and coordinate things like advertising and promotions and work together to educate the community.”
The two will work together with on promotions and public outreach as well as special events and workshops throughout the year.
“We both have a real deep understanding of what’s going on in the food industry,” McLane said. “Our philosophies are the same and we looked at our markets and realized that we’re not really competitors because [Hood-Cree] runs her market on Thursdays and I run mine on Saturdays.”
For the Roswell Famers and Artisans Market, this new partnership is just one of a few changes this year. The name has changed from the former Riverside Farmers Market. The market will be sponsored solely by the city of Roswell instead of also by the Fulton County UGA Cooperative Extension.
The market will still be held Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon behind Roswell City Hall, but the location has moved about 100 feet on the property to a shaded area and the season will be a bit longer from May 3 to September 27, McLane said.
He said about 30 vendors, who make or grow their own products within a 100-mile range, convene weekly at the market selling seasonal produce, eggs and artisan foods like cheese, cookies, breads, pastries, jams, jellies and sauces.
He said there are only a few exceptions to the producer-only rule such as coffee, which is not grown locally.
The Sweet Apple Farmers Market is also producer-only for the most part, Hood-Cree said. She said vendors offer produce, beef, pork, seafood, eggs, bread, prepared food, jams and jellies.
“In the peak in the summer, there are probably about 30-plus [vendors],” Hood-Cree said.
While the market is open year-round, the main season will kick off May 1 with music and special giveaways, she said. Market hours are Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. with winter hours shortened from 3 to 6 p.m.
The location is at Sweet Apple Village on Etris Road between Crabapple and Hardscrabble roads.