Saturday’s Clinton Community Market was a first-time experience for several of the vendors set up around the East Feliciana Parish Courthouse.
About two years ago, former Clinton residents Louis and Lynn Savoie, now of St. Francisville, started Maggie Richardson’s Raw Sugar Toffee, hand making the sweet stuff in small batches from creamy butter, fresh ground sugar, premium nuts and decadent chocolate.
“I started making it for friends and family, especially during the Christmas holidays, and packaging it in craft paper and bows,” Lynn Savoie said. “But after a successful day at a Mamou market, we wanted to try selling the toffee in our old hometown.”
The Savoies said they’ll return to the Clinton market and are looking for a large industrial kitchen to lease or purchase to make larger batches. To learn more, visit rawsugartoffee.com.
Another first-time vendor was Shakey Lake Farms, of Chipola in St. Helena Parish, owned by David and Julie Carmichael.
Julie, a Baker native, and her daughter, Ali, sold their bread and butter pickles and jellies and a few bunnies to marketgoers.
Like the Savoies and Carmichaels, Marvin Hartley, of Zachary, was eager to show off his hand-forged knives that he makes during his spare time.
“I just saw a video one day and knew I could do it, too,” Hartley said, who first made his own forge from his wife’s hair dryer and some charcoal. “I had to promise I’d buy her a new hair dryer.”
Each of Hartley’s knives are made from old railroad ties and spikes and lawn mower blades.
“They’re functional knives but really sharp. I made one for my neighbor, who showed it to a friend, and then the friend wanted one,” he said. “It kind of grew from there.”
Hartley says making things with his hands is a passion. Through his company, aptly called Marvin’s Handmade Creations, Hartley also crafts wood signs with metal accents and other home decorative items.
Ethel farm owners Joel and Sharon Gouedy, of Sassy Hen ‘N More, along with their daughter, Olivia, are regulars at the market and sell farm fresh eggs, pickled eggs and vegetables, jams, jellies and a variety of syrups.
They always set up their tent next to vendor-neighbor Kay Smith, of Greensburg, who makes woodburning arts and crafts such as holders for iPads, remote controls and cookbooks.
Another East Feliciana Parish farm, New Day Farms, owned by Ben Agnew in Clinton, offers herbs (fennel, rosemary, sage, parsley and dill), vegetables and bags of mixed lettuce (red leaf, spinach and kale).
Chase Richard, who works for New Day, said in about a month, the newly planted red potatoes, sweet corn and eggplant will be ready to harvest.
Other vendors were selling everything from crocheted items and handcrafted jewelry to tamales at the Clinton Community Market, which is held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month. There is no fee for vendors to set up a booth, tent or table.
To learn more, email Al O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.