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'It’s an outlet': Cameron Farmer's Market hosts space for aspiring entrepreneurs, business owners

Posted at 5:26 PM, Mar 01, 2024

CAMERON, Texas — The Cameron Chamber of Commerce hosted its weekly farmer's market Friday, giving small business owners a chance to gain more exposure in the community.

  • The Cameron Farmer's Market started about five years ago with the goal of helping local entrepreneurs who can't afford traditional shops sell their products.
  • Traditional "brick and mortar" shops can cost between $2,000 and $100,000 — not including other expenses like repairs.
  • Now, local business owners like Manly Christopher are selling their products to over 20 customers year-round.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Jelly, jams and pickles — Manly Christopher sells about 40 jars a day.

But not in a traditional shop.

“We come out here three days a week," Christopher said. "We have to bring our material with us and set it up and take it down each day.”

The Cameron Farmer's Market — and it's giving his business and others more exposure.

The market is nothing new to Cameron.

Starting about five years ago, the market aims to help entrepreneurs who can't afford traditional brick and mortar shops.

These shops can cost between $2,000 and $100,000 — not including other expenses like repairs, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s an outlet for those family farms or family produced gardens or families who produce other items that they want to sell to market their items in a safe place," Melanie Reed, the director of the Cameron Chamber of Commerce said.

And the market isn't only profiting vendors.

“It provides a circle for visitors to see and visit Cameron where without them here they may just be driving on through Cameron, so it gives an opportunity to promote our downtown businesses as well," Reed said.

But Christopher says it doesn't matter if he gets a building.

“I retired out of Houston several years ago and didn’t have anything to do, so I started doing this home canning and it’s keeping me busy and it's keeping me alert, and it’s really fun," he said.