Open-air markets have long been a community staple in storied, scenic locales throughout Europe. If the notion of venturing cobble stone streets to experience the wares of crafting countrymen sounds enticing but you find yourself unable to swing a trip overseas this summer, you’ll have a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant artistry and rich culture created by Alpharetta, Georgia’s very own European Market this September!
On September 16th and 17th, 2017, Downtown Alpharetta transforms into an intimate epicenter for artisanal merchants throughout the Southeast to converge under one tent. Echoing the lively interactions among European merchants and shoppers in mesmerizing locations like Paris, London, and Brussels, Alpharetta’s Sixth Annual European Market seeks to bring a bit of the boutique market experience to the Southeast.
According to European Market Curator and owner of TS Design Services Tina Soucie, Alpharetta provides the perfect host location for the event based on the city’s elevated sense of community solidarity and deep-rooted appreciation for artistry. September’s European Market will feature over 40 vendors offering hand-crafted jewelry, vintage decor, unique repurposed home fixtures, women’s fashion, children’s clothing, objects de art, artisanal bath and body products, and more.
“Whether your personal style is country French, shabby chic, industrial, or little of everything, the European Market will have something special for you to bring home,” said Soucie. “The way the vendors decorate their booths and how the market is so masterfully laid out—all of those carefully cultivated details create the merchant’s market event reminiscent of those open markets held in Europe. Attendees really are going to feel as though they’ve been transported to a world away.”
European Market exists as an unparalleled experience for merchants and shoppers alike as they get to interact in an intimate, open-air marketplace. One of the can’t-miss merchants you’ll want to meet is Jimmy Saldana, owner of Resurrected Furniture Design. Saldana specializes in furniture restoration with an elegant flourish as well as one-of-a-kind wall décor made from reclaimed wood. Saldana notes the special environment created by European Market, describing the overall vibe having a “great family feel.” Though furniture redesign is his trade, Saldana appreciates the story behind each of the pieces his company refinishes. This enthusiasm for the personality of a piece translates into his interactions with guests of Alpharetta’s European Market.
“It’s different than a flea market and different than a high-end antiques market—it really is the best of both worlds because you have a little bit of everything and the booths just flow from one to another so seamlessly,” says Saldana. “It’s the perfect size with just enough vendors so that people aren’t overwhelmed with too much to see.”
One of Alpharetta’s incredible eateries that will further send visitors across the ocean is Collet French Pastry Cafe, a taste of truly Parisian delicacies located right on Old Milton Parkway. This quaint café is known for sweetening even the most discerning of palates. The rum baba, a golden, brioche-like sweet bread soaked in rum, is a beaucoup best-seller, and various fruit tarts illuminate the flavors of summer with sun-ripened seasonal berries atop delightfully decadent French pastry.
“The European Market is a perfect artisan event for Alpharetta’s visitors and residents,” says Janet Rodgers, President and CEO of the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This event provides a fun weekend for couples and families to gather outside and experience one of the many awesome things Alpharetta has to offer.”
The fun doesn’t stop at the European Market. Those coming in from out of town can plan to spend the entire weekend exploring the city. The market is surrounded by great shops and restaurants. For more Euro-chic shopping options, Alpharetta’s own La Bella Maison, Sis & Moon’s, White Dog Décor and Queen of Hearts Anitques and Interiors are some local favorites of nearby shops teeming with vintage home furnishings and rare finds.
To further elevate the experience of your weekend, immerse yourself in the feeling of traipsing through Europe’s loveliest city streets by making your way to the Alpharetta Farmers Market. From 8:30am – 1:00pm on Saturday, you can peruse over 60 vendors including area farmers, artisanal cheesemakers, and local purveyors of the area’s best accoutrements. Locally-harvested produce and handmade jams are certain to remind you of a far-away way of life, right in the heart of Georgia.
In between darting from the European Market vendors to the various local shops in downtown Alpharetta, take a moment to revel in pure respite on the lawn or the European-style reflective garden of Brooke Street Park. Here you’ll find a babbling brook’s soothing murmur beneath sunny skies. Pause at this local gem to stretch out in the park with a good book and a light bite from one of the nearby restaurants. Nothing could be more European (or European Market) than allowing yourself to become immersed in and inspired by the natural beauty surrounding you.
For more information about the European Market coming to the heart of Alpharetta on September 16th and 17th, click here.