Duncan Switch Street Market, the popular monthly marketplace event, recently celebrated its fourth anniversary.
“It’s a glimpse to the past that is paving the way of the future, ” said Steve Martin, Duncanville Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, of the phenomenal success of the Duncan Switch market.
“The concept harkens back to a time when neighbors came together as a community and business was conducted with a handshake,” Martin said.
Held along the Main Street corridor at Center Street, Duncan Switch is immediately adjacent to the railroad switch and the event’s namesake.
The idea to host a monthly street market grew out of a need for an event to draw shoppers to the Main Street corridor. Conversations among residents, business owners and business leaders such as Martin and developer Monte Anderson led to the inception of Duncan Switch, the once-a-month open air street market hosting a plethora of vendors, food and community fun.
Plans for the open air street market were cemented through community meetings first held at the local Main Street Kitchen’s Deli, an old-fashioned soda fountain and sandwich shop.
The first Duncan Switch Street Market was held in April 2014 with 30 open-air tents housing space for entrepreneurs to test the market and grow a following, Martin noted. “And now four years later, we’re still going strong and are looking to how we can continue expansion and growth – possibly expanding from Center to Davis Street.”
With a three-fold purpose to drive business to Main Street, to serve as an incubator for small business entrepreneurs and to promote recycling by encouraging community members to recycle and resell old items stored in garages, the Duncan Switch Street Market has become a vital force in revitalization and driving development of Duncanville’s Main Street Vision.
Every third Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., entrepreneurs set up under the shade of tents in a “pop-up retail center environment” to offer everything from homemade barbecue, donuts, old-fashion homemade candies, snow cones, flowers, refurbished signs and homemade crafts to canned goods.
Vendors like Vonda Pipkin of Pizzazzy Pickles, a math teacher by day and a pickle maker during her off hours, has grown beyond the markets. Pipkin’s jars of homemade crinkle-cut sweet and spicy pickles are now available in local restaurants and retail distributors like Cox Farms on Main Street.
In addition to Pizzazzy Pickles, the market has helped grow businesses like Elite BBQ, Casa de Masa and Kona Ice Snow Cones.
The City of Duncanville has been a tremendous partner with the Street Market,” Martin said “It’s all about the community coming together once a month to enjoy the open air and the community.”