The Bella Vista Farmers Market held its first event of the season on Sunday, returning to its original location at One Mercy Way with more vendors than last year.
Bella Vista Farmers Market Manager Becky Parmelee said the day was going "fantastic" with lots of families present and lots of excitement in the air. There were 39 vendors on hand Sunday, she said.
"The new location's been beautiful," she said. "There's lots of overflow parking at the soccer fields. There's lots of room to walk around."
During a ribbon cutting, Parmelee added that covid hit the market hard, shutting it down for a year. It has also moved a couple of times, she said.
"We're beyond thrilled to have this Mercy partnership up and running again," she said.
Shoppers browsed the various tents where vendors sold their products.
Lana and Nick Martin of 922 Cattle Co., based in Anderson, Mo., were offering Angus beef in various cuts. Lana Martin said the beef is processed in a USDA facility, and she offers grass-fed and grain-fed beef. They make homemade dog treats made from the leftover beef parts so that nothing is wasted, she said. They brought farm fresh eggs to the market and sold out by 9:15 a.m. She said they would have beef jerky available next week. This was their first year to attend the Bella Vista Farmers Market.
Brandee Nine of Bella Vista is the owner of 9's Fine Soap Line. She was selling all-natural soap and vegan soap. She said she has been making the soaps consistently for the past five years, although she had experience making them before that in the past as well. She had some soaps she said were perfect for mechanics and fisherman, etc., and some moisturizing bars. She will also add body lotion bars and other products soon, she said.
Theresa Neal of Rockingham Farms in Bentonville, formerly a Bella Vista resident, said she was one of the original vendors when the market was formerly located at One Mercy Way.
On Sunday she was selling fudge, chocolate, vanilla and seasonings, although in the future she will have plants and vegetables and probably bread as well, depending on how many other vendors are offering bread, she said.
The name of her farm came from her former home's location in Bella Vista on Rockingham Drive, she said.
Skin Salvation, owned by Cindy Jones and husband Michael Beckman, is a product line including all-natural body butter, sugar scrubs and lip balms. Jones makes all of the products, along with knitted throws and knitted trivets.
She said she retired after 32 years with the postal service and learned to make her products through trial and error with research. She already knew how to knit and learned on YouTube how to knit the throws and trivets, she said.
Along with the vendor tents, there were some food trucks available on Sunday, and music was provided by Dom D. Roy and Joe Credit, both of Siloam Springs.