On Sunday, Germantown residents, a beer garden, and local businesses filled the parking lot of the Attic Brewing Company. The sectioned-off lot in front of Attic and Deke’s Bar B Que included colorful seating arrangements, a jazz pianist and trumpet player.
‘So it kind of just really came out of COVID-19 I guess, and just how can we work together to help all of our businesses,” Attic co-owner Laura Lacy said. “We do a rotation of other different local artisans, crafts people, you know, who would have been doing farmer’s markets all summer long.”
Residents can enjoy beer from Attic, food from Deke’s as well as the The Clean Plate Club Truck, Philly Bread Company, and FarmerJawn. Lacy said they rotate other local businesses every week.
Last weekend, Mark Flaco Best’s business took part in the market. His Latin-infused dance studio has been around for 20 years teaching ballroom, salsa and bachata in the Mt. Airy area. It closed in February due to the pandemic. Best said the classes are intimate experiences for dancers and just wouldn’t work online.
“I thought that there would be a need [for dance] forever, and while the need still exists for kids to have this human experience and these creative expressions, it’s just not possible”, Best said.
Best didn’t attend the event to give lessons. Since Best hasn’t been able to teach dance, he spent the last several months making sure his voice is used for the greater good. Best organized a protest in New Jersey two weeks ago and sold leftover shirts from the demonstration that read, ‘Humanity, Dignity, Equality Now!’ He said while the dance studio’s future is unclear, it is imperative he becomes part of the movement supporting Black lives. “I need to be able to tell my kids that I did what I could to try to change that narrative,” Best said.
Best said taking part in the market was also a way to try and insure he is financially secure. “But it’s also important to me because as someone who was totally out of work, and someone who has not received one unemployment check, I had to do something to get out here and try to take care of myself.”
Chelsea Shellenbarger brought her three-year-old business, Catalyst Accessories, to the outdoor marketplace for the first time. Shellenbarger was also affected by the pandemic. Before coronavirus, she sold her hand decorated picture frames and soap dispensers from her home, and at area flea markets.
“Everything went into a coma,” Shellenbarger said. “I found a part-time job to keep some money coming at a grocery store. It’s just been hard because I can’t even sell online because the post office is so messed up right now.”
Attic Brewing Company co-owner Laura Lacy plans to keep the market open every Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m., as weather permits. You can find more information on the event and local businesses at Attic Brewing’s Facebook page.