The “great” Mulberry Market divide has left Mercer students who frequented the previous weekly market confused and concerned.
The market, located in Tatnall Square Park, has previously been organized by a manager of Community Health Works for the last few years and has been a source for local farmers and small businesses to showcase their products.
However, this changed when the Napier Heights Food Co-Op claimed they were the new market manager in August. They felt that Community Health Works was failing at its goal to promote the market’s growth, explained an article from the Macon Newsroom titled “Food Fight: Lawsuit imperils future of Wednesday farmers market” by Laura Corley.
Since then there have been many disagreements between the groups, such as lawsuits on the “Mulberry Market” name and a “160-page Temporary Restraining Order CHW’s lawyers filed,” as stated by Corley.
To ease tension, the Wednesday market has been disbanded for the time being; however, many vendors still sell on Wednesdays without a manager or sell on Thursdays at the Napier Heights Market instead.
With its proximity to Mercer University, many students attend the weekly market regularly and benefit from the products sold there.
“I have quite a few things from the market, such as plants and things like that,” said Mercer student Ally Thorne 25’. “It does feel good to directly help and benefit the community and economy. I think it's a really good idea and a good thing that has been established,” she said.
Students such as Thorne were confused when regular vendors stopped showing up.
“The first time I went there was well over 10 tents. And then the last time I went, there were maybe two or three,” Thorne said.
Other students, such as Amalie Horace ‘25, feel disappointed about the market uproar.
“I think the feud is just kind of ridiculous. I think that not as a consumer, but for the people that their businesses come here and they get vendors every Wednesday, I think it's really going to hurt them over something that I really think is simple and a little silly to be fighting over,” Horace said.
“I haven't had the opportunity to go and now I don't know if I ever will,” Horace said. “People get to miss out on this amazing opportunity to meet all these small business owners and to see all these fun vendors because they're feuding over a title.”
The Napier Heights Food Co-Op has decided to continue hosting the market on Thursdays.
Maura Rutledge ‘25 is a Journalism student at Mercer University. She has previously worked for The Cluster as an Arts and Culture and News reporter, and currently works as the Managing Editor. She enjoys thrifting, fashion, reading and writing in her spare time.