The eclectic mix of artists, craft vendors, and sellers of locally-grown produce are excited to welcome the new food trucks to their weekly market.
- by Lisa Monti
This Big Buzz is supported by our Partners:
Shoppers at the weekly Pass Market have been picking up farm fresh produce and buying handmade arts and crafts at the War Memorial Park location for some 18 years. Starting this Saturday, the beachfront market will add food trucks to the mix of vendors.
A new ordinance allows five food trucks to operate in the city, and a couple of them will be on Scenic Drive, in front of the Pass Market this Saturday. Safety is always a consideration for the outdoor market, and bad weather last Saturday delayed the food trucks’ debut, said Kathleen Johnson, market manager and owner of Backwater Studios.
This weekend’s weather looks perfect for shopping at the market. “We always wanted to have food at the market, but it’s hard to keep up with the laws without a truck,” she said.
The Pass Market was established by Joseph Buckley after Hurricane Katrina. “He has stuck with it all these years and still supports it,” Johnson said, adding that the market is “run by the books.” One standing rule is that the farmers have to grow the produce they sell.
Besides being an added attraction for the market, the food trucks will give people a taste of what the trucks will be serving at popups and special events around the Pass.
Susan Putnam, the city’s Community Liaison Officer, said on social media that the food truck ordinance “opened up a whole new facet for the market.”
One of the trucks that will be at the market on Saturday is Rolling in the Dough, which specializes in hot, handmade soft pretzels and has had popups at the Pass Christian Pavilion on Second and Davis for a few weeks. The truck serves plain, salted, salted/butter, cinnamon sugar, and garlic parmesan pretzels, as well as its special King Cake pretzel.
The Little Wooden Smokehouse Company will also be on hand Saturday to sell their Piggy Pops, described as tender bites of brined pork, skewered and wrapped in bacon, rolled in the Smokehouse’s candying spice and “smoked to perfection over local red oak.” Another specialty is the Clucksicle Lollipop, a smoked chicken leg marinaded in teriyaki and wrapped in bacon.
Vendors can set up for free at the Pass Market, and they come from all over the region. “We have one artist from Madison who comes regularly, and others come from Louisiana and Alabama, from all over really,” Johnson said. The vendors who come to the Pass on a regular basis enjoy the camaraderie they find at the park, which offers scenery that surely is the envy of landlocked venues. “They can sit on the beach and watch the dolphins swimming and the eagles and the sailboats,” Johnson said.
The number of vendors and shoppers at every farmers market rises and falls with the seasons, and the Pass market is no exception. There are a finite number of vendors to go around, and sometimes multiple weekend events can pull vendors as well as shoppers away. Johnson said the number of vendors setting up at War Memorial Park can range anywhere from 15 on a slow day up to 85, depending on the weather and the time of year. The number of shoppers can go from 200 or so to 500 or more. But Johnson said the most important number at a market is the amount of sales the vendors bring in. The busiest market day last Christmas season saw $7,500 in sales. “We’re just a little market, but that’s a pretty substantial number,” she said.
The Pass Market
103 Fleitas Ave., Pass Christian
Open Saturdays 9 am – 1 pm
Enjoy this feature?