CONNECTIONS – Market networking

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 :: Connections
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Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Most farmers’ markets are settled into the Saturday morning routine, but for Green Bay, one day just wasn’t enough. Running every Wednesday through Oct. 17, the Farmers’ Market on Broadway will celebrate its ninth year of operation and continue to strengthen and connect businesses in the area.

Given its mid-afternoon timing, the market is popular with businesspeople and professionals, who take in a little networking while they’re at it.

“That’s the majority of our business,” says Jeff Tilkens, events coordinator for On Broadway, Inc. “People get off of work, meet up with friends, get produce for dinner, do a little walking. We get a big chunk of our crowd from people getting done with work at 5 and coming out. I can only imagine there must be a ton of networking going on.”

The market is located between Walnut and Dousman streets, where the vendors set up tents facing the sidewalk and use the street for a staging area. Exploring the 200 vendors that sell at the market, the casual shopper can happen upon locally grown produce, homemade eggrolls or even purses pieced together out of recycled library books. The local stores also take advantage of the opportunity – the doors are propped open and the air-conditioned drafts are enticing.

“[Revitalization] is our main focus,” says Tilkens. “We give our district businesses a free booth for the year. We work with them to help them understand the value of not only the sales they’re getting at the market but the marketing they’re getting at the market.”

Local bands open things up at 3 p.m. and the vendors remain open until 8 p.m. Parking is free a few blocks down at the Green Bay Public School District lots, Leicht Park and Larsen Green. For those heading over after work, the BMO Harris Bank and Old Fort Square lots are free after 5:30.

The market typically draws anywhere between 5,000 to 7,000 people on an afternoon. Most of these, Tilkens says, come at around 5 or 6 p.m. Numbers are expected to go up soon, as the market experiences its peak of the summer after Independence Day.

These are encouraging statistics when it comes to the area’s financial health.

“Eighty percent of every dollar stays local when you shop local,” Tilkens notes. “So the money stays at your local economy. That’s a huge advantage of the farmers’ market.”  – By Laurel McKenzie

MONDAYS

Heart of the Valley Chamber Lunch Bag series, in the lower level of the Chamber offices in Kaukauna, will focus on a variety of topics, from social media to management. The program runs from noon to 1 p.m. every Monday. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m., and participants should bring their own lunch.

Wednesday, Aug. 22

The Door County Women’s Fund’s “Celebrate Women!” Luncheon will host motivational speaker Kathryn Childers. Childers will be sharing some of her experiences, including time as a Secret Service agent and founding an organization that sponsors free mammograms. Tickets are $40. Email [email protected].

Tuesday, Aug. 28

The Arc Fox Cities golf outing will benefit youth and adults with differing abilities. The event starts at 11 a.m. at the Butte des Morts Country Club. The cost is $150 per person or $600 per foursome. Register by calling (920) 725-0943 ext. 114.

Thursday, Sept. 6

Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region, Inc. Annual Luncheon, starting at 10:30 a.m. and running until 1 p.m. at the Radisson-Paper Valley in Appleton, will present Women Against the Odds. The event will feature networking opportunities, a raffle and a discussion on issues facing businesswomen today. Cost for individual seats is $50; cost for a table of 10 is $500. More information can be found at www.womensfundfvr.org.