Foley, AL- The Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market (CAFFM) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this October and wants to send its deepest thanks to the community that has helped it reach this milestone.
The City of Foley has a storied history with an agricultural background. In 1905 the City’s first railroad station was built, helping it become the economic hub of the county. Part of its success came from warehousing and shipping local farm products, most notably potatoes.
To carry on that agricultural history CAFFM was built in 2013 with funds from a BP Oil grant in order to provide the community with local farm products, including but far more varied than just potatoes. The market was created as a non-profit organization overseen by a board of directors. In May of 2022, CAFFM moved under the purview of the City of Foley’s Leisure Services Department where it continues to grow.
Over the last ten years, the number of vendors has grown by leaps and bounds with a current active list of more than 400. These vendors are the lifeblood of CAFFM bringing in high-quality, local products including produce, meat, seafood, baked goods, honey, and artisan crafts. Alescia Forland, CAFFM Operations Manager, said it’s the vendors who have helped build the market into what it is today.
“We have been blessed to have the most incredible vendors who create a strong sense of family every Saturday at the market,” Forland said. “The vendors who have been there since day one and those who just started coming out have helped us build a community where customers become friends. They are sought out for their wares, but also the genuine interest they have in their customers’ lives and families.”
Forland said those customers are the other incredibly valuable piece of CAFFM’s success.
“It’s exciting how over the last decade strangers have become regular, familiar faces, and then even friends,” Forland said. “We see new people every week but more often than not the comradery the market provides has those newcomers returning again and again.”
City of Foley Mayor Ralph Hellmich said the way the market has built a truly unique experience has made the entire city leadership proud.
“We know how incredible our region is and CAFFM has found a successful way of sharing the area’s bounty with the community,” Hellmich said. “We are overjoyed with the way the market has made a name for South Baldwin County far beyond its borders. It has won national awards, grown vendors and revenue, but most importantly created an atmosphere synonymous with everything our city represents- hospitality and family.”
For more information on CAFFM contact Alescia Forland at 251-709-4469.