Here’s a small sampling of what patrons can find at the recently revived Meredith’s Market in downtown Concord: homemade foods from decades-old family recipes, greeting cards handmade from vintage atlases, nail sculptures and lighting decor.
At least a dozen regular vendors set up shop from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Thursday to showcase items from baked goods, pickles and soups to crafts, locally-grown flowers and greeting cards. Some vendors visit weekly; others visit once or twice per month.
Meredith Beregovski started the weekly market a couple of years ago in The Loft at 14th, near the city’s parking deck in downtown Concord. The market faded away for a while as Beregovski switched her business focus to interior decorating during the slow economy. Then she handed off her brand to Carol Salloum, who revived the weekly market in December.
“I contacted Meredith and asked if she was going to do anything with it, and when she said no, I asked, ‘Do you mind if I start this back up again?’ ” said Salloum. “She said, ‘No, not at all. Do you want to take the name of the market?’
“She also gave me her Facebook page and allowed me to use all her resources so that people who knew about it before could be brought back in.”
Salloum now is manager of Meredith’s Market and co-owner of Piedmont Renaissance Center on Union Street South in downtown Concord. She and her husband, Sam, are general contractors and have some sizable plans for the six-story building.
Two floors of residential condominiums and an eight-room bed-and-breakfast inn are visions for coming years. The Salloums bought the historic building before the recession and are planning to open a restaurant there this summer.
“The space would not be totally full during lunch time, so I see the market continuing even if there is a restaurant,” said Carol Salloum, who sells cupcakes and red lentil soup at the market. “Maybe we’ll have it more consolidated. But wouldn’t it be kind of neat to sit down for lunch and be able to just browse around?”
Downtown ‘a jewel’
Salloum, a longtime Harrisburg resident, has been actively involved with the Historic Downtown Concord Merchants Association, the Concord Rotary Club, the Concord Downtown Development Corp. and Think Cabarrus First. She said she’s definitely seen an increase in support from people focused on supporting local businesses, artists and the like.
“This whole movement of, ‘Shop local and support your community,’ is near and dear,” she said. “We’re connected throughout downtown, and we want to draw people here.
“This downtown is such a jewel,” Salloum said, “and there’s so many people in Cabarrus County who don’t even know it’s here. It’s a little piece of history right in people’s backyards.”
Commonwealth Farms occasionally provides locally grown, fresh-cut flowers and bouquets, while more regular vendors include Donna Kennedy and her Fancy Fleece Blankets and Kay Wall, who creates greeting cards using vintage atlases and her photography of flowers.
“It’s a personalized card of a place you’ve been or would like to go, or a place that’s special to you,” said Wall.
Most vendors are hobbyists
Most of the vendors at the market describe themselves as hobbyists. Wall has been a part of the market since it formed a couple of years ago.
“I was at the original Meredith’s Market, and I think if people just knew about it, they could get in the habit of stopping by every Thursday to see what we have,” Wall said.
Lorna McLaughlin also participated in the original market. She is the owner of Armadillos, “pickles with a bite.” The weekly vendor offers spicy and mild versions of her jarred pickles, made from a dill pickle base with garlic, jalapeños, sugar and other spices.
“It’s been good exposure, but I think it’ll be better when the weather improves,” McLaughlin said. “A lot of it is just spreading the word. … Everything here is locally made, and everything is way good. … We don’t have that many vendors now, but I think it can grow into a really fun stop in downtown Concord.”
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