Hinckley Holiday Market gives local vendors time to shine

by Emily Canning-Dean

The holiday season was in full swing at the Valleaire Golf Club Nov. 18 thanks to the third annual Hinckley Holiday Market.

Christmas music filled the event center while visitors milled about, enjoying holiday treats from the bake sale and checking out wares from 32 local vendors as well as a host of raffle items.

Hinckley Trustee Monique Ascherl recalled a time three years ago when she and Nikki Long came up with the idea for this annual holiday market.

“Nikki came to me and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if there was a vendor show just for local people? Just for small mom-and-pop businesses,” Ascherl said. “We started brainstorming and the holiday market was born.”

“I wanted to buy local when buying Christmas gifts,” Long said. “There really wasn’t a place where I could find local vendors and I thought wouldn’t it be nice if there was a show for local vendors.”

Ascherl said that while all vendors aren’t necessarily residents of Hinckley, the vast majority are from the Highland Local Schools community.

“The purpose is to promote the smaller businesses and also to do something good for the community,” she said. “Each year the community bake sale and the raffle baskets raise money for a local organization. This year it will go to the Hinckley Police Association.”

Audrey Gargas, co-owner of Brook Haven Apiary, had a vendor table at the event for the second consecutive year. She sells items including local honey, beeswax candles and soaps and said the holiday market has helped to get the word out about her business.

“I have seen a lot of my neighbors come through and they didn’t even know we had bee hives in our backyard,” she said.

Susie Cheraso manned a vendor table for the local business, Elderberry Syrup by Jen.

“Jen makes small batches at a commercial kitchen right here in Hinckley,” Cheraso said, adding that the market has been helpful for teaching folks about the business. “It was very busy when the market first opened and it has been steady all day.”

Angela and Tawnya Archer were part of the holiday market for the first time this year. The pair displayed wood cutting boards, coasters and other wooden and engravable items.

“It seems like we have had a lot of people interested especially in our coasters to use as stocking stuffers,” Angela said. “We definitely want to come back next year.”

Bellus Road resident Henry de Groh also attended as a vendor for the first time this year. He happily showed off loudspeakers of all shapes and sizes that he built and designed, often using recycled and reclaimed materials to complete his projects. One speaker was made out of leftover cork from a flooring project. Another consisted of granite left over from a bathroom counter project.

“I will definitely be back next year,” he said. ∞

Angela and Tawnya Archer show off their wooden products for the first time at the holiday market.

Nikki Long and Monique Ascherl man the bake sale at the Hinckley Holiday Market.

Photo (main/above): Visitors check out the multitude of raffle items at the holiday market.