BEEVILLE – No one who visited last Saturday’s outdoor market in downtown can deny that it was a big hit. 

Fifty-two vendor booths set up their homemade wares in the parking lot behind Hattie & Hazel’s restaurant as well as the lot across from Coastal Bend Distilling on West Corpus Christi and Monroe streets, and nearly 500 people showed up to shop the myriad of unique creations, said Hattie Odom of Hattie & Hazel’s, one of the event sponsors.

Odom and co-restaurant proprietor Hazel Tindol were approached by Rebecca Lopez at the beginning of summer to see if they’d be interested in helping start up a local market.

Lopez runs a small jewelry business out of her home with her website and has seen firsthand how COVID-19 has impacted local sellers and small businesses.

“It was at the beginning of the quarantine lift, and I wanted to do something to help those small business owners who were struggling to sell their products get back on their feet,” she says. 

After a small June event with only a few vendors and another in August with a few more, word started to get out, and the trio began receiving more requests to join the vendor pool.

“Being on the fourth Saturday of the month has made a difference since there were no others in the area on that date,” says Lopez. 

There are area markets on all the other Saturdays of the month, she says, so choosing the fourth one was a no-brainer.

The event has grown exponentially, and November’s looks to be even larger with the combining of the event with Coastal Bend Distilling’s Holiday Market. 

Next month’s shopping will be a bit different from even itself as the market’s normally stringent rules of “only homemade or homegrown” at the market are relaxed with the combining of the two markets.

And it’s not limited to vendors. Lopez, Hattie and Hazel are hoping to also use the event as a venue for local nonprofits to raise funds as well...

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