Growers, craftsmen, bakers, producers, food trucks and other vendors can now set up shop at El Dorado's new Produce & More, located on the north end of the shopping plaza at 127 E. 6th Ave. The market first opened Saturday, June 17.
Produce & More is open noon to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 4:30 to 6 p.m. Monday and Friday. There is enough space for 40 indoor booths and 30 outdoor, with a ramp for disabled people. Vendors who would like to operate a booth at Produce & More would pay $50 total for the entire summer season, which runs June through October. Tables and electric are an additional charge of $15 per day. The winter season is anticipated to be November through May and would have the same $50 fee attached. No alcohol or x-rated material is allowed to be sold.
All revenue from vendor fees will go toward Journey to Recovery, a community-run organization that meets five days a week to provide assistance to those in Butler County with mental illnesses or addictions. Journey to Recovery is also fighting the stigma of mental illness.
"Mental illness is just like physical illness. You take meds, do what you're supposed to and you're fine," Sandy DeWitt, director of Journey to Recovery, said.
She added that not everyone who has a mental illness are killers like some seen in the news.
Journey to Recovery started in 2008 and received its first state funding in 2012. The organization has also been funded in the past with events such as garage sales and pancake feeds. South Central Mental Health donated two vans to Journey to Recovery last summer, but DeWitt rolled one of them February 10. DeWitt hopes to procure enough funds from Produce & More vendor fees to purchase another van for Journey to Recovery. The vans are used to transport Journey to Recovery clients who may not have reliable transportation otherwise.
"Either they don't have a driver's license anymore, or they can't afford transportation," Susan Rommelfanger, vendor at the Produce & More market, said.
Produce & More involves Journey to Recovery clients as well; they help set up booths and advertise.
Vendors who would like to have a booth at Produce & More must be licensed and pay their own sales tax. They can contact Rommelfanger at 316-621-0128 for an application.
"[Our longterm vision is] that we have as many vendors as the building can hold and that the community can benefit from it," Rommelfanger said.