If you decide to visit the “Promise Land” — a neighborhood situated between Arendell Street and the Bogue Sound in Morehead City — you’ll want to stop by the Morehead City Curb Market, the longest running curbside farmer’s market in North Carolina.
“This is a piece of history,” said Glen Taylor, a vendor at the market. “And this had been here for over 75 years.”
It’s still going strong, each and every Saturday, May through October.
It is extremely important,” said Sunni Wade, the market’s vendor manager. “The market started in the 1920s out on Arendell Street when the ladies were trying to help make ends meet at home. It moved to the corner of Evans and 13th when the building was built in 1930. Since then it has been operating every single summer since 1930. So it is actually the longest operating curb market in the state.”
Taylor remembers coming to the market for the first time more than 50 years ago.
“I came here in 1962,” said Taylor. “I got here about 7 o’clock in the morning, and there was at least 50 people standing around the streets waiting to come in. They wouldn’t sell anything until they rung the bell at 7 o’clock because they might run out of something. So everybody had the same chance to get everything. No matter how early you came you still had to wait until 7 o’clock to buy anything.”
It’s not quite that busy here these days. Still visitors can pick up fresh produce, jellies, jams, handcrafted goods and much more.
“For it to have gone as long as it has, it’s amazing,” said Wade. “It’s amazing that someone has been available to make it, every single summer, open it’s doors and bring in people to it. “
Customers are a mix of the old and new; some are visiting the Crystal Coast and some have been coming to the market for decades.
“And a lot of the people that were born and raised here and have gone on come in and talk about times when they came in on Saturday mornings with their mother, grandmother,” said Taylor. “And how they remember coming back then and how much they enjoy coming.”
“It’s a part of a lot of people that grew up here,” said Wade. “It’s part of what they remember, this is where mom brought me on Saturday mornings to come get our groceries.”
The legacy that is the Morehead City curb market lives on.
A piece of Carteret County history that the locals hope will stand the test of time.
“We are trying to revitalize,” said Wade. “We are trying to bring it back to the life that it used to know. It’s a little less than it was, but we want to have the Saturday market and have the business and have everybody come see us.”
“If you’re in Morehead City or visiting or whatever, just come by and check us out,” said Taylor.
This Friday, the curb market will open on a Friday night for the first time.
Besides your typical vendors, they’ll have three food trucks on site as well.
The Friday night market will run from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.