Goat soap made by a 4-year-old.
A food truck run by a 5-year-old.
Plant starters and eggs sold by an 8-year-old.
Original art by a 16-year-old.
And the list goes on and on.
More than 75 kid vendors will make up Madisonville’s very first “Market Munchkins” event, an all-kids market that will take place June 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Madisonville Park on Jahncke Street. It will feature a variety of young vendors, food, games and live music — all of which will be provided by St. Tammany’s youngest entrepreneurs, chefs and performers. Admission is free.
The event is the first of its kind for the town, and came about thanks to the ingenuity of 8-year-old Max Glassman. He said he came up with the concept after wanting to do a lemonade stand, but realized he didn’t live in a neighborhood busy enough to make any sales. He figured it would be better to do it somewhere in town with more traffic, and better yet, in concert with other kids. And voilà!
His mother, Bridget Glassman, jumped on board to help, and with support from Madisonville’s Mayor Gene Pelloat, they were given a space to host the event at the park.
“It gives kids an opportunity to be entrepreneurs. They get to start a business from scratch and learn a little of what it takes to gather, clean, market and sell a product,” said Pelloat. “Isn’t that the American dream?”
As the mother-son duo advertised the grassroots event through Facebook and good old-fashioned flyers, community support erupted. In just a short time, the event went from a small farmers market concept to a full-blown festival, as dozens of kids immediately signed up to participate. Bridget Glassman, a flight attendant by day, said she was “baffled” at the response.
“We’ll have a little bit of everything,” she said: Lemonade, jewelry, bath and body products, homemade laundry detergent, food, toys, games, metal work, face painting, hair braiding, art and more.
Then there's the entertainment. More than four hours of young performers will take the main stage, including the School of Rock House Band, the Singsations, young duo “Jenny and George” and a young jazz trumpeter.
“These kids are very talented, and I think people are going to be inspired and in awe of them,” she said. “The products they’re making are extraordinary.”
Bridget Glassman said there is no cost for the vendors to participate, but only kids are allowed.
“Businesses wanted to have booths, but I didn’t want that to be what this is about,” she said. “This isn’t about adult businesses making money, it’s about the kids and kid-made products.”
While young vendors can participate for free, they are encouraged to share a percentage of their sales with a charity they care about. It’s about learning to give back and support the community as well, Glassman said.
Eight-year-old Eli Abram said he’ll be selling plants and eggs. Abram is a “big gardener” who grows potatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupes, tomatoes and radishes and other crops. Participating at the event will give him a chance to earn a little money for his birthday, he said.
Glassman said she hopes the kids market will continue organically in the future: “I kind of foresee it being maybe twice a year,” she said. “If it’s successful, I would love to see it keep it going.”