WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - As local businesses compete against national chain stores this Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a business in Winterville hoped to tackle issues, such as the supply-chain crisis, by fully stocking their shelves.
“When it’s just coming from down the road it’s a lot easier than being shipped from far away,” said Justin Lawrence, whose parents own The Village Market on Winterville Parkway. “It’s straight to the source, you get to support your neighbors, and be a part of the community.”
The Lawrence family said supporting neighbors is something they prioritize when running a business, with all of their items sourced from North Carolina.
“It’s not uncommon for us to have business owners bring their products right in here to us,” said Sarah Lawrence after stocking the shelves with fresh peanut brittle from Jamesville. “It’s basically from the business directly to the store. So, we’re not facing those supply shortages that a big box store may face.”
Customers browsed chocolate covered nuts from Goldsboro, barbeque sauce from the Blue Ridge Mountains, and handmade soap from Winterville on Friday.
Elizabeth Coghill came to The Village Market as a repeat customer. She wanted a holiday gift for her neighbors today.
“You can buy so much online now,” said Coghill. “This is something you can’t buy online.”
The pandemic has changed the priorities of some Eastern Carolina shoppers on Black Friday.
“We used to go out really early in the morning, like 6am,” said Coghill. “It’s just no fun when you’re fighting crowds.”
The Lawrence family opened the doors of the village market in March 2021. After seeing the pandemic’s effect on area vendors, Justin Lawrence said he decided now was the time to make a change.
“I saw a lot of the small businesses and local shops didn’t have the avenues to get their products out there and be seen as much as they were before,” he said. “So, that was the spur that we needed to make the dream come true.”
The Village Market will host a free-to-enter vendor market each Saturday this holiday season, featuring food trucks, music, Christmas trees, and local suppliers of crafts, meat, treats, and more.
The Saturday event will begin Nov. 27 at 9 a.m.