EatLoCo’s newest farmers’ market opens in Purcellville on Saturday, April 21.
The market will operate from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Dragon Hops parking lot along Main Street and will feature more than 20 vendors, including area farmers and artisans. EatLoCo co-owner Dan Hine said the market would open and close an hour earlier than most farmers’ markets so it would not overlap with the brewery’s business hours. Vendors will set up shop in the larger parking lot on the west side of the brewery, with parking available in the smaller lot on the eastern side.
With the deal between EatLoCo and Dragon Hops finalized just two weeks ago, Hine said he was optimistic that the partnership will be long lasting and benefit both parties. Jamie Horris, president of the brewery—which plans a May 5 opening—said the partnership began when Hine coincidentally stopped in to introduce himself during a business meeting.
“That was a pretty serendipitous, good meeting that we had there,” Horris said. “[The EatLoCo owners] share the same branding and message that we do.”
This will be the third farmers’ market that EatLoCo has opened in four months. In December, it took over the market in One Loudoun, which was previously managed by the Loudoun Valley HomeGrown Markets Cooperative, and it opened its Brambleton market earlier this month. EatLoCo also plans to open two markets in the Village at Leesburg this year, one outdoors and one inside the former Smokehouse Live space that is now occupied by Chefscape.
While EatLoCo started as a blog in 2016 to promote healthy eating and local produce, Hine and co-owner Linna Walz quickly realized that the company could additionally give farmers and consumers a venue to do business. EatLoCo charges vendors one of two weekly fees—$35 for those who commit to an entire year and $50 for those who prefer to set up as drop-in vendors. It does not charge them a percentage of what they make.
“We wanted to help the farmers succeed through professional advertising,” Hine said. “Establishing and promoting farmers’ markets is one of many ways we are helping our communities support farms.”
The EatLoCo Purcellville market will be open for business every Saturday year round. Hine said his company is looking to launch an eCommerce website next year that will allow farmers to sell their produce and proteins online to individuals and restaurants.
“This will help our farmers sell more product during the week and in larger quantities,” he said. “This will help them tremendously during nonmarket days.”