Shop local, donate local at open-air holiday market this Saturday

Elbert Bassham, left, of the Marfa Food Pantry unloads 20 50-pound boxes of holiday hams donated by tequila company Herradura with Tom Craig, center, Coleman Morris-Goodrick, right, and other volunteers on Monday. Photo by Abbie Perrault

MARFA — While many holiday shoppers battle long lines, shipping times and supply chain issues, locals can avoid that hustle and bustle by shopping local this Saturday, December 18, at the open-air holiday market at 317 W. San Antonio Street. 

The market will feature a dozen local vendors with quality handmade wares and curated goods. There will also be festive cookies, hot beverages and a chance to give back to those who may need a helping hand this holiday season.

Vendors with tables will include High Desert Dye, LaFortune Ceramics, Sunshine Silversmith, Tejón Moto, Grandma Ranch Vintage, The People’s Republic, Creosote Studio ceramics, Marfa Meats and Far Out Silver. Socorro Mena will sell her homemade tamales and Stephen Boelter will be cooking up tacos.

Stop and Read Books, Marfa Coffee Company and CMG Knives — whose workspaces and storefronts share a building on Highway 90 in what is locally known as Brit Webb’s old gas station — devised the event, and chose to partner together because of a shared desire to promote local artisans and help Marfans have food on the table during the holiday season.

Lesley Brandt, who runs Marfa Coffee Company with Coleman Morris-Goodrick of CMG Knives, said she’d heard about recent rising inflation and that folks are having to budget more for food this holiday season. She summarized what the event was all about, saying, “It’s just holding each other up and supporting each other through the holiday season and making sure everyone is fed.”

Genevieve and Elbert Bassham, who run the local pantry, said that when the ordering list arrived this year, the West Texas Food Bank didn’t have any meat available for purchase. The couple worried how they might get holiday entrees for their food pantry customers, since they couldn’t order them from their normal provider, and no one had stepped up to donate the main dish yet.

When Kendall Craig, the owner of Stop and Read Books, heard about the predicament, she called on friends at Herradura, a tequila company, who donated 120 hams and over $1,000 to the Marfa Food Pantry.

Craig, along with Brandt and Morris-Goodrick, hopes to continue the holiday support to the pantry, so a collection box at the holiday market will be open for donations. Those who bring donations will be handsomely rewarded with a Herradura cocktail to drink while they browse.

“If anyone wants to come set up they can,” said Brandt. “We’re just looking to create additional spaces for local people to sell their wares. There’s no charge or fee.”

The open-air holiday market takes place this Saturday, December 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 317 W. San Antonio St. in Marfa.