By John Schaffner

The Cathedral Market debuted May 12 in the parking lot of the Cathedral of St. Philip, at 2744 Peachtree Road, and was termed a success by vendors and shoppers, and also by The Very Reverend Samuel G. Candler, dean of the Cathedral.

The market is the brain child of Linton Hopkins, owner of Restaurant Eugene in Buckhead, who came up with the idea while speaking at a meeting of the Brookwood Hills Garden Club.

A member of St. Philip’s was attending the meeting where Hopkins spoke and passed the word on to Rev. Candler and vicar Rev. George Maxwell.

“I know all the farmers,” Hopkins said. He realized with his connections to local vendors and the generosity of St. Philip’s, the market could become a reality. And, it did on May 12.

Through the summer, the market will be held in the Cathedral’s parking lot every Saturday from 8:30 am to noon.

Following an early rush of shoppers when the market opened at 8:30 am, there was a steady stream of 50 or so people from the immediate neighborhoods and other areas of Buckhead and the city, checking out the wares of about a dozen vendors and buying everything from organic foods to plants, flowers, decorative items for the home and clothing and jewelry.

Asked if the market was smaller than anticipated, Rev. Candler replied, “This is exactly what we wanted. We were going to start small. But really this is quite large for us. We want to let word of mouth sort of be our instigation.” he added

“If the farmers and vendors will trust that the people will come and people come, the vendors will come,” he explained. “The fact is the people are going to trust this is a good place. There is parking. It is central to where a lot of people live and the most important thing is the spirit. If the spirit is strong here, it will be good,” he stated.

“I love the Cathedral being the place where fulfillments of God’s creations can be celebrated,” said Rev. Candler. “So, we are enjoying the foods of God’s earth and God’s people.”

Shopper Carter Hoyt said, “I think it is absolutely terrific. I think it is very community oriented and something we needed badly.”

Sharon Vandenview, who lives in the condos nearby, told the Buckhead Reporter, “I think this is community as well and exactly what Buckhead needs. I found out about this through your paper which I found over at Whole Foods Market.”

“I came to help as a volunteer,” said Ralph Smalley. “I came to find out what it is all about. I think based on today, it should take off and there will be a lot more vendors and customers on board.”

One of those vendors, Bess Bleria, with Via Elisa Fresh Made Pasta, said, “I think it is doing very well. We are starting to run out of things. We obviously didn’t plan well enough. We didn’t anticipate this crowd,” she added, looking at her partner in the booth, Elisa Gambino

Ann Siegenthaler, of the Chastain Park area of Buckhead, came with her friend Sally Train, who lives near the Cathedral. “We are excited about it,” Siegenthaler said. “We are anxious to see more and see it improve and increase. Next time I might bring my dog. I didn’t think about bringing my dog, but all these people have their dogs with them,” she added.

Siegenthaler said there was a bigger crowd early, just after the market opened.

“I think it is great,” Train said. “I will be happy when we get a little more into the (vegetable) growing season.

“I could walk here from my place, but I didn’t,” she announced.