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Arkansas Made at Margie’s Market in Bald Knob

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There is something truly special about buying directly from local producers, farmers, artisans and craftsmen. For several years I sold eggs and herbs at our local farmers market, and it really opened my eyes to the dedication and hard work that goes into making a living by one’s own handiwork. It’s not just about the product itself; it’s about the love and passion poured into every aspect of it. When you purchase from these individuals, you’re not just getting a product; you’re getting a piece of their heart and soul.

Moreover, the quality of the goods is incomparable to mass-produced items. Whether it’s the freshness of the produce, the craftsmanship of handmade items, or the unique flavor of homemade goods, there’s a tangible difference that you can taste, feel and appreciate. You know exactly where your money is going and what you’re supporting: local businesses, sustainability and a sense of community. It’s a beautiful exchange where both the buyer and the seller benefit, fostering a connection that transcends mere transactions.

Margie’s Market is a brand-new shop in Bald Knob that has the charm of an old-fashioned general store while proudly showcasing a modern twist. Stepping through its doors is like stepping back in time, yet with a fresh and vibrant energy. Here, every shelf, every corner, is adorned with an array of meticulously curated Arkansas-made products, from farm-fresh meats and produce to locally crafted candles, jewelry and clothing.

I sat down with shop owner Chloe Martin to talk about the inspiration for Margie’s Market, and it aptly began with a cow. A Scottish Highland cow named Margie, to be exact. Margie was a gift from Chloe’s then fiancé, now husband, Matthew, after she joked that it was “buy your wife a cow month” in early 2020. On the trip home from a local farm where they purchased Margie, a casual conversation about opening a store to sell meat and farm goods planted a tiny seed in their minds. Chloe and Matthew were in the midst of planning a wedding, growing Ridge Raised Farms, their beef cattle farm, and navigating a world that was just shut down due to COVID. It was a time of fear and uncertainty but also a time of grabbing life by the bootstraps.

Amidst the chaos of COVID-19, Chloe Martin, like many of us, had a wake-up call about the importance of sticking close to home. Suddenly, those local farmers, artisans, and shops she’d often taken for granted took center stage in her life. When the grocery store shelves were bare and online deliveries delayed, it was those local connections that came through for her, and Chloe realized just how vital her community was. It wasn’t just about buying stuff; it was about being part of something bigger, lending support where it mattered most. The way friends, family and neighbors stepped up and supported Ridge Raised Farms was inspiring. COVID might have thrown us a curveball, but it also showed Chloe the power of rallying around local businesses and the folks who keep them going.

With the taste of community support still fresh in her mind, Chloe felt inspired to take action. She couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something truly special about the local scene in Arkansas that deserved to be highlighted. So, armed with a vision and fueled by her pandemic epiphany, Chloe began to lay the groundwork for her own venture—a store dedicated solely to Arkansas-made products. She loved the concept of stores like American Made championing products from across the nation, but Chloe knew she wanted to go hyper-local. She envisioned shelves filled with everything from farm-fresh produce to handcrafted goods, all proudly bearing the label “Made in Arkansas.” It was more than just a business idea for Chloe; it was a way to pay homage to her community and support the hardworking folks who called it home.

As she began her research, Chloe was shocked at the wide range of locally made products. Even more, she loved how the unique stories of each vendor fostered a connection. Not only would her customers purchase local products, but they would be supporting the dreams of local families. Only a month removed from their grand opening, the Martins have experienced an outpouring of support and interest from the local community. Margie’s Market is well on its way to being an overwhelming success, not just for the Martin family but for the families whose products sit on the market shelves.

While browsing through its eclectic offerings, you’re not just purchasing goods; you’re becoming a part of someone’s dream. With each transaction, you’re supporting local artisans, farmers and entrepreneurs, contributing to the fabric of a thriving community. Margie’s Market isn’t just a store; it’s a testament to the spirit of Arkansas and the power of collective dreams. A handful of the vendors Margie’s Market supports include:

Ridge Raised Farms
Benica’s
Northridge Oak
501 Farm Goods
Pozza’s Pasta
Sweet & Sourdough
Fennel & Fire
Guillermos Coffee

Margie’s Market is family-owned and operated, so their hours can vary. They are typically open Tuesday through Saturday, but you can always find the most up-to-date information on their Facebook page. Margie’s Market is located at 1714 Highway 367 North in Bald Knob, Arkansas.

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Julie Kohl works from home as a writer and teaches art part-time at a local private school. A former Yankee who was "converted" to the south by her husband, Julie has grasped on to rural life in a sleepy, blink-your-eyes-and-you'll-miss-it town in central Arkansas where they raise chickens, farm hay and bake bread. Julie loves adventure and sharing it with her husband and son. They frequent the trails, campgrounds and parks of Arkansas, always on the hunt for new adventures and new stories to share. Learn more on her blog Seek Adventures Media.

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