By Samuel Still, Staff Writer-
The Erlanger Market provides attendees with a stress-relieving experience where they can shop from local vendors for high-quality products and forget the worries of being in a hospital.
The Erlanger Market itself, an extension of the Chattanooga Market, is a year-round weekly market that is free to attend and open to the public. Each week the market brings in local vendors from around the Chattanooga area to set up booths inside Erlanger and sell their hand-crafted goods.
Vendors sell a variety of items such as desserts, gourmet nuts, handmade quilts and essential oils. For the vendors, the Erlanger Market is an opportunity to build their businesses and sell their products, but for some, it is more than that.
Michael Hudson of Rosemary Knoll Eatable Delights said, “When I see a child in a wheelchair, hooked up to IVs… that really bothers me more than anything and I usually make some type of effort to give the child [one of Rosemary Knoll’s food products].”
Sowing Seeds Hemp Farm Vendor Alli Smith echoed Hudson’s sentiment by saying that the market is “a good environment” for patients and their families to buy quality products and escape the stress of being in a hospital. Two people who said the market helped relieve their stress were Rachel Hawkins and Kendall Brantley, a mother and daughter pair from Chattanooga who have a sick family member currently at Erlanger.
Hawkins said, “Anytime you can shop and not think about the sorrowful things that have you at the hospital, then it’s a nice distraction.”
Patients, their family members and Erlanger personnel alike all enjoy going to the market, as Sugar Shoppe Vendor Florivaldo Pereira put it, to treat themselves to a nice reward for putting up with a hard day or week. Students at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga could similarly benefit from a visit to the market where they can take a break from their studies and buy a fresh dessert, an organic candle or any of the other various goods that the vendors have to sell.
The Erlanger Market is held every Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is conveniently located inside the Erlanger Medical Mall, which can be accessed by an entryway on East 3rd Street or by walking through the skybridge connected to the main hospital parking garage. The market is free and open to everyone, so all can enjoy the well-made, hand-crafted goods put on display by the local artisans.