TOWN OF NEWARK — Steve and Heather Williams have spent the last year building a farm market at Kauffman’s Country Store in the Town of Newark, and the event has been a great outlet for many vendors unable to get to markets in Beloit or Madison.
The couple said the idea came after realizing so many small businesses and vendors were being hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a year into the event, it’s grown to over two dozen vendors and draws regular crowds.
They have owned Kauffman’s Country Store for three years after purchasing the business from Arthur and Evelyn Kauffman who ran it for 20 years. Steve, an electrician, said he was born and raised down the road from the store. His wife, a former teacher and then stay-at-home mom runs the store, doing baking, payroll, inventory and packaging up products.
‘We really wanted to build a sense of community,” Steve Williams said. “This was about being able to help. We are blessed with this land and this opportunity, so why not do this? The Lord gave us this chance. We have to make the best out of it.”
With over six acres, the Williams were able to observe social distance guidelines early on and as conditions improved, more vendors were able to come out and sell their unique wares, delicious produce and assorted food items.
“It means a lot to be able to be here,” said Marilyn DeJaynes, who co-owns Beloit-based Pop’n DeLites Kettle Corn and Edibles. “This is a wonderful place to be. The customers are so thankful for us and we love sharing what we do.”
Katie Howes, who makes tie-dyed artwork through her small business Howes Craft Studio, said the market was a great way to connect with a wider audience.
“I had options to go to other markets, but I chose to come here at Steve and Heather’s, and it’s been so great,” Howes said.
The market is held every Saturday from 9 a.m.—1 p.m. and will run through the summer and into the late fall, Williams said.
“We’re so happy with what we’ve been able to do,” he added.