Downtown Richmond has an ever growing population of its own local businesses. Richmond also boasts multiple farmer’s markets which feature local farmers and their produce. To celebrate and support Richmond’s local businesses, EKU’s campus hosted #EKULocal on Thursday, September 7.
“I have been looking for an event for local crafters for a long, long time. This is the first that I have found,” said Loretta Justice, creator of Zee’s Simple Creations.
Zee’s Simple Creations featured handmade goods for sale such as fall, Halloween and sports team themed wreaths.
“It’s important to support local businesses because us small town businesses help to keep the local economy going,” Justice said.
Kaylia Zancan, the owner of The Book Shop, said she agreed with Justice’s statement.
“Supporting local businesses does not only help the small businesses but also the town of Richmond,” Zancan said.
The Book Shop sells both new and used books as well as hand-crafted paper goods, Zancan said. A major selling point for the shop is that everything is $5 or less, Zancan said.
“We just opened over the summer, so #EKULocal was a good opportunity to introduce our new business to EKU,” Zancan said.
Melodie Lincavage, owner of Four Sister’s Farm, noted that #EKULocal was helping to bridge the gap between EKU and Richmond’s downtown businesses.
“Festivals like this help to tie students to the area,” Lincavage said.
Lincavage is the manager of the downtown Richmond farmer’s market as well as an owner of the Four Sister’s Soap and Tea Imperium in downtown Richmond. The Four Sister’s Soap and Tea Imperium has 90 different types of teas as well as lunches, farm fresh preserves and goats milk soap, Lincavage said.
At their booth, Four Sisters Farm featured an array of goat milk soaps as well as an offering of freshly canned preserves.
Another local farm represented was Isabell and Smith’s Farm Fresh Produce.
“We have been with the Madison County Farmer’s market for twenty years,” said Myra Isabell, partial owner of Isabell and Smith’s Farm Fresh Produce.
The Isabell and Smith booth featured handmade and homegrown bread, jams, jellies and a variety of peppers for sale.
“Because we raise our own produce we know what kind of products have been used on them,” Isabell said.
Isabell and Smith’s produce were all grown chemical free, Isabell said.
In the wintertime when crops are low, Isabell and Smith’s Farm Fresh Produce also sells handmade crafts, Isabell said. To show off these crafts the booth featured an array of handmade bags and rags.
However, #EKULocal was not just for booth vendors. It also featured local food trucks and local musical entertainment.
Smitty’s Southern Style BBQ brought their food truck to sell food that ranged from Polish sausage to pulled pork sandwiches.
“We just want to support happiness,” Bonnie Smith said as she cooked on the grill.
#EKULocal also featured Brother Smith as music entertainment. Aaron Smith, a band member of Brother Smith, graduated from EKU. The band members described their music as a collection of bluegrass, rock and funk.
“As a group that wants to travel it’s important to have a home base, so we have a family wherever we go,” Smith said about why #EKULocal is important to them.
EKU local brought together local businesses and EKU students on what Wes Smith from Brother Smith called, “a beautiful day.”