“Looking at somebody, they’re either making it, they’re creating it or they’re so attached and so knowledgeable about it that it just shows,” Suda said. “That’s what we want.”
Anyone interested in becoming a vendor at 2nd Street Market can either apply to be an indoor/permanent vendor or outdoor/weekend-only vendor. 2nd Street Market also has openings for weekend-only vendors in the pavilion on the east side of the market. Applications are accepted all year long.
Most vendors applying to be a weekend-only vendor are very new, Suda said. She explained that, for some, this could be the first time they are talking to someone about their business. 2nd Street Market educates vendors and lets them know what licensing they will need and how they can obtain it.
“Our goal is to make sure we can help these people become successful,” Suda said.
To apply to be a weekend-only vendor, vendors must fill out an application and meet with 2nd Street Market organizers. To be a permanent vendor, the application process is a lot longer and more competitive.
Suda explained if someone is interested in becoming a permanent vendor and a space is open, they must fill out a longer application, submit a business plan and go through an interview process including a food tasting or presentation of the products they plan to sell.
“Not only do we let the people know here that a permanent space is available, but we will also go over past applications or past interviewees,” she said.
A vendor selection committee consisting of staff at Five Rivers MetroParks helps choose the permanent vendors.
“It’s great having the vendors stay for a long period of time because it gives a real sense of continuity, but it’s really nice to also see the vendors be successful and go out and go beyond us,” Suda said.
Jon Graham, owner of Jon Graham Pottery, has been a vendor since 2005. He told Dayton.com his favorite part of the market is the people.
“It’s a business, but it’s more of a retirement activity,” Graham said. “I enjoy the interaction with the people when they want specialty made things.”
Over the last five years, Suda said the market has become more diverse with the addition of new minority vendors and guests. She said since the coronavirus pandemic, the market has seen an increase in guests shopping on Sundays.
Suda said one of the best parts of the market is “that sense of community in Dayton.”
She explained vendors not only have passion about their products, but a passion about community.
“They love their customers,” Suda said. “You’re going to know who’s behind what you’re purchasing. It’s beyond just local.”
Mark Tarziers, owner of Dayton Microgreens, described 2nd Street Market as the heartbeat of the community.
“We’re fortunate that 2nd Street has all these great vendors,” Tarziers said. “They all work with each other. They all help each other out. It’s amazing. I never in a million years when I got into this knew what kind of family has now been extended of mine. I love every second of it.”
2nd Street Market, located at 600 E. Second Street in Dayton, is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. The market features different events, classes, workshops and musicians each weekend. 2nd Street Market also partners with Homefull, a nonprofit organization working to end homelessness, to expand healthy food options for customers who receive food assistance.
For more information, visit www.metroparks.org/places-to-go/2nd-street-market/.