Bluffton Farmer's Market Will Charm You


Fresh, local fruits and vegetables were once like the smart, creative kids in the back of the class—humble, understated, full of substance and always trying to help others. By the time people cut through the noise of processed meals, fast food and chips and dips, local produce became the perpetual middle-child of food—full of raw talent, unnoticed by many.

Like gifted and talented students, local produce just needed a place to call its own. Since 2008, that place is the Bluffton Farmers Market.

“The main ingredient in our recipe of success is that each market is an event,” said Ed McCullough, founder of the Bluffton Farmers Market. “One farmer told me he used to sell vegetables on the side of the road. He now says he sells 25 times the quantity because of the farmers market. It’s the same farmer, the same vegetables, the same town; the only difference is that the market gave his products an event.”

The other main reason why the market is so successful is the Town of Bluffton, McCullough said. “The market embodies the spirit which we intended.” Up against stacks of paper and local ordinances on Hilton Head Island, McCullough took his original concept for the market to the Town of Bluffton where the red carpet was rolled out. “Everyone to whom we presented the idea was awesome,” he said. Four short years later, the Bluffton Farmers Market was voted the best in the state, and the American Farmland Trust ranked it 19th in the nation.

The market is open every Thursday year-round except Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. During the season, which is late March through October, the market is open from 2-7 p.m. From October to December 19, it is open 2-6 p.m. During the winter months, January through mid-March, the hours are noon to 4 p.m. Every market is held on Calhoun Street, which is the artsy, funky “Main Street” of Bluffton. Besides it being a distinctively Bluffton event with nearly 40 vendors, live music, chef demonstrations, gardening presentations, and prepared food, the market is also a big tourist draw.

“During the season, we see more than 2,000 people travel through the market on any given Thursday, and a good majority of them are tourists staying on Hilton Head,” said Kim Viljac, market manager. “Many tourists love to come back and catch up with the guy who makes gumbo or their favorite farmer.”

The Bluffton Farmer's Market is just one of many reasons that folks choose to live here. If you'd like to learn more about what Bluffton has to offer, call, text or email anytime! I am delighted to chat with people who just want to know more about our area. Kim France kfrance@kw.com 513-476-2658 kimfrancehhi.com

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