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More weekend shopping awaits downtown at ‘The Market’
The Market 1
Cam’s Cart serves up gourmet ice pops at The Market in downtown Turlock on Sundays (Photo contributed).

If you thought that life in downtown Turlock slowed down on Sundays, two local business owners want you to think again.

On May 7, Main Street between First and Broadway was blocked off to drivers and filled with nearly 50 vendors as part of The Market, a brand new makers’ market in the heart of Turlock. The minds behind the project are Stephanie Torres and Adrina Silveira.

Torres is the owner of California Couture boutique on 115 W. Main St., while Silveira is the owner of Intro Boutique at 133 W. Main St. The two became close friends over time, and soon began brainstorming ideas for how to increase foot traffic in downtown, particularly on the weekends. Before long, Torres pitched the idea of a market on Sunday to compliment the Turlock Certified Farmers Market on Saturdays.

“Stephanie called me in January and brought up this idea of doing a makers’ market here on our side of the street and if it was something I would want to partner up with her to do,” Silveira said. “I had to think about it at first, but then I called her back and was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do this.’”

For the next four months, the pair worked nonstop to file paperwork with the City of Turlock to make the idea a reality. In fact, Silveira explained that they were still getting permits and other things in order up until the very first weekend of the market. After the first two weeks taking over the portion of Main Street, the hard work seems to have paid off.

“There were literally so many people here the first day, I was honestly blown away,” Torres said. “It was really packed, and we really weren’t expecting it because we hadn’t promoted it much outside of social media here and there. And everybody seemed to really like it.”

The duo explained that pretty much everyone in the area has been on board with the idea of a Sunday market. Prior to filing paperwork, they floated the idea around with fellow business owners along Main Street, and all were in favor. Additionally, they met with members of the Turlock Certified Farmers Market to ensure that they wouldn’t work as competitors to the popular weekend staple.

“We wanted to be respectful to the farmers market, so we deliberately wanted to make this a makers’ market. Even though there are some similar vendors on Saturday, the main focus of that is produce and food, so this is more like an opportunity to extend that shopping experience all weekend,” Silveira said.

Vendors at The Market offer everything from clothing, jewelry, bath products, blankets, toys and other home goods and arts and crafts, as well as a few food trucks.

The described “extended shopping experience” has been a success. Following the first two weekends of The Market, they have received an abundance of positive feedback from businesses housed downtown, many of them sharing that sales were up significantly from most other Sundays.

“It’s all about embracing and supporting small businesses,” Torres said. “One of the things I like and something that most people really appreciate is that most of the vendors we have are local… We hear so much about downtown Turlock dying down on the weekends or once the farmers market ends and that there’s nothing to do on Sundays, but instead of people driving out of town to have a fun family experience and to shop, we can keep bringing things down here.”

In terms of the vendors, The Market had over 90 applications once they first promoted the event on their social media channels. Unfortunately, most paperwork was already filed, meaning that they could not extend the event further than the confines between First Street and Broadway. The Market currently hosts 48 vendors, with some rotating each weekend.

“Definitely, we want to make this stretch out further along Main, but we just have to wait right now, which is good since we are all still learning and this is such a new experience for us,” Silveira said. “It’s been a great experience.”

The Market takes place every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will run until Oct. 29. For the latest updates on vendors, special events and promotions, follow them at @TheMarketTurlock on Instagram.