Sara Tideman makes a transaction at her booth called That's My Jam. Photo by Kinsey Brown for The Cordova Times

The Saturday Market has returned to Cordova with renewed interest and energy this year. The Saturday Market was started by Christa Hoover and her stepdaughter Rachel Hoover Blackwelder in 2015 to sell various fermented foods they had been making such as kombucha and kimchis. They were inspired by the concept of open-air farmers markets elsewhere and invited other local makers to join in on the concept in the hopes of encouraging a space for supporting artisan products in Cordova.

Christa says running an active market in Cordova helped her feel like she wasn’t missing out on anything living in a rural community.

“I grew up going to farmer’s markets and have always loved the experience of seeing all the ways people express themselves whether it be in the kitchen, a garden, at a workbench, or at an easel,” she said.

The market found a perfect venue in the Masonic Hall on Main Street, which offers a space to gather and still be sheltered from Cordova’s unpredictable weather.

Nancy O’Hare and her crocheted creations. Photo by Kinsey Brown

Over the years the market has passed between several different organizers and featured a variety of products from fresh baked breads, to handmade textiles, and even vintage furs. While the market saw initial success, participation had begun to wane, mainly due to lack of consistent vendor participation and community interest.

This past winter, Christa was inspired to revitalize the market and reached out personally to potential vendors with this goal in mind. She says one of the keys to keeping the market running are vendors who return with their offerings monthly as anchors for the event. These anchor-vendors include local makers such as Brian Wagner’s leather works and Nancy O’Hare’s crochet crafts. Another change that has made the market more accessible is shortened hours which gives vendors more flexibility in their day.


“The market builds community,” Christa said of the market’s value in bringing people together. “It’s a nice family outing on a Saturday. Rain or shine you can come to the Masonic and go through the Saturday Market … You walk in and everyone is smiling.”

Offerings at the market this summer have included homemade jams and pickles, upcycled clothing, used books, jewelry, pottery, and various baked goods. Almost all of the recent markets have also featured a food vendor to serve fresh plates during the lunch time hour.

A dozen tables are available each month for vendors to rent. Table costs go to helping pay for the space in the Masonic’s usage fee. Hoover hopes to keep the new energy alive and see even more vendors participate into the fall and holiday months. She also plans to make small improvements that will help the community become more aware of when the market is operating such as a sandwich board sign on Main Street during market days and keeping the Facebook page up to date.

The Cordova Saturday Market is open on every third Saturday of the month from noon to 3 p.m. Vendors interested in participating in upcoming markets should contact the Cordova Saturday Market Facebook page for more information.

Correction: This story was updated on Aug. 9 with the correct market hours.