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Open-air market serves as launching pad for small businesses

St. Phillip's Farmers Market.jpg
Posted at 5:02 PM, Sep 13, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It’s National Small Business Week and many of the local open-air markets give small businesses in Southern Arizona community the opportunity to showcase their goods.

The St. Phillip's Plaza Farmers Market is one.

Cindy Williams, the market’s organizer said business owners still need support.

“They’re coming off probably the toughest year that they’ve had because of Covid,” she said.

While it hasn’t been easy for many, some of the businesses that call the market home have beat the odds.

“It’s been a great opportunity for us because it showcases a lot of what we do as navajos and we feature our culture and the artistry that’s right behind it,” said Charlatta Francis-Greenstone, Greenstone Collection Pottery and Crafts.

She and her husband said their business hasn’t slowed down and instead flourished during the pandemic.

“When I started out, I probably had just one little tray and then when I got together with my husband to what we have right now," she said.

RELATED: Small business owners can attend virtual events for Small Business Week

Francis-Greenstone isn’t alone. Pouring cup after cup of tea, is Tucson Tea.

Yvette Marie Margaillan and her husband Eddie Diaz launched seven months ago at the market. They credit the market for where they are today.

“The farmers market is fantastic for getting new clients. We have an e-commerce store but the majority of people that buy from our online store are people that we met here,” she said.

The husband and wife duo did not expect their business to launch so quickly. Their business has been nominated for best tea in Tucson and even won an award for being the best caffeine in Tucson.

She tells small business owners to not give up.

“The reality is you don’t know if tomorrow is going to be the day you hit it big and you start getting more and more clients,” she said.

Williams said that’s what the market is all about.

“This is a great starter point,” said Williams.

As the weather cools down Williams expects more vendors and visitors. The market is open every weekend.