After just two months of operation, EatLoCo transferred ownership of its Purcellville farmers market to Dragon Hops Brewing.
While the market still runs every Saturday in the brewery’s 55-space parking lot off Main Street, EatLoCo officially ceased managing operations on June 23. The market opened April 21.
Co-owner Dan Hine said that while EatLoCo’s relationship with the brewery is as good as ever, the company decided to focus on its four other markets in the county, specifically its indoor and outdoor locations in the Village at Leesburg.
“Purcellville is kind of a tough town—we could have had more traffic,” Hine said. “Our focus is on our two Leesburg markets.”
Dragon Hops co-owner Emily Coryell said that since the permit for the farmers’ market has always been under Dragon Hops’ name, the change in operation was easy, but disappointing.
“I wish it had worked,” she said. “[Hine] really made a great attempt at making it run.”
EatLoCo’s move to the town in April gave market-goers more than one option when buying their produce and meats on Saturday mornings, with the existing Purcellville Farmers’ Market also operating down the street at the same time.
According to Coryell, EatLoCo was basically run out of town by people defending the other market. She said that angry people have accosted vendors at the Dragon Hops market on several occasions, accusing them of diminishing the existing market.
Purcellville Farmers’ Market Manager Kelly Partlow said that she didn’t know about those altercations or that EatLoCo had backed out.
“That’s not how I run my business,” she said. “I don’t want that nastiness to follow our market or anybody else.”
For now, Coryell said she would continue to operate the market despite the backlash.
“I never back down,” she said. “I would love to make it successful.”