This summer brought a new addition to the bustling Bayside community near Fenwick Island, with the incarnation of the Town Center Market.
The open-air pop-up market is open from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, until Labor Day weekend. With vendors changing every night, homeowners and visitors are being treated to a rotation of local artisans, businesses and food trucks.
According to Bayside Director of Marketing Jeff Evans, the market was conceived out of the desire to “enhance the experience for the community” by bringing offerings from local businesses to residents.
“It was Michelle Freeman’s vision to provide some retail opportunities here in Bayside,” Evans said.
This summer, the idea was to bring a temporary, open-air market to the community, with the hope of eventually evolving it into a permanent retail space within the community.
Since kicking off on June 23, Evans said, the market has featured vendors including the Fenwick Bike Shop, which for the first time has been on-site offering bike rentals all summer; sea glass artist Nancy LaMotte; and community T-shirt and apparel sales from Troon.
The market has also featured a rotation of food trucks, bringing in local favorites such as the Frozen Farmer, Drifting Kitchen, Rosenfeld’s Jewish Delicatessen and Sea Hogg, a rolling branch of Zogg’s Raw Bar & Grill in Rehoboth Beach.
“We’re constantly changing. The vendors change every week, and we’re always encouraging people to be here,” Evans said.
One of the market’s new vendors, Steven Lehukey, is bringing his new business — a snowball stand called Beach Balls — to Bayside for the latter part of the summer season.
Lehukey, a Bayside resident and member of the Homeowner’s Association Finance Committee, said that he is passionate about the idea of Bayside being a self-sufficient community and believes the market is key to achieving that goal.
Ahead of his market debut, Lehukey said, “I’m hoping, as a new vendor, as silly and simple and basic as it is, it’s kind of taking kids and their families back to just getting a good ol’ fashioned snowball at a reasonable price.”
He added that he’s hoping to catch some of the traffic that comes to the market when it overlaps with concerts and events at the Freeman Stage.
Lehukey said, “I never got to meet Josh Freeman, but I feel that I’m living vicariously through him and his vision.”
He plans to donate a portion of his sales to the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, in an effort to give back to the community that he says he is so passionate about.
In addition to a rotating offering of vendors and food trucks, visitors and residents alike can stop by the market to relax at one of the picnic tables or join a game of cornhole.
The goal of having the market in the center of the community, according to Evans, is to encourage local businesses to be a part of Bayside and to give residents an opportunity to conveniently patronize those vendors.
This Friday, visitors and market patrons can taste the offerings of Sea Hogg Street Eats, which will be on hand from 4 to 7 p.m. with some of their specialties, including pulled pork, jerk chicken and fish tacos.
On Saturday, the Vittles food truck will roll in from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to serve up everything from Chorizo quesadillas to Reuben sandwiches and fresh-squeezed lemonade.
Evans said they’re always looking for new vendors to be a part of the market, whether they have an established business or are just starting out, like Lehukey. Potential vendors should contact Twig Burton for more information, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To check out the schedule of upcoming vendors and food trucks, head to www.livebayside.com/bayside-area-events/events.