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Dayton’s Not Dead: Second Street Market

2nd Street Market

2nd Street Market | Photo by Christian Peters | The Wright State Guardian


Every Saturday and Sunday, Dayton residents flock to Second Street Market to support local vendors, artists and restaurants. 

Part of the Five Rivers MetroParks, Second Street Market is a vibrant, bustling environment that Wright State University (WSU) students are invited to enjoy. 

Assisting vendors to change career paths

Co-owner of Corner Hill Farm Brad Garrett transitioned from his role in Information Technology (IT) to growing crops with his wife after being inspired by the television series “Alaska’s Last Frontier.” In addition, Garrett enjoys the personal connections that he shares with other vendors and patrons at the market.

“We are getting to be with people who want us to be here and they thank us for doing what we are doing. I didn’t get that when I was working with computers,” Garrett said. 

Similar to Garrett, Bob Santa Barbara of Caffeine Carl transitioned from another industry to his new occupation at the market. He worked for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) until the company downsized ten years ago, prompting him to purchase Caffeine Carl and pursue a new career. 

Stalls at 2nd Street Market
Stalls at 2nd Street Market | Photo by Christian Peters | The Wright State Guardian

“I enjoy seeing my regular customers, some of which are families where I have seen their children grow up from being five or six years old and now they are graduating high school,” Santa Barbara said. 

Sentimental aspects of the market 

Tammy Zonka uses her artistic skills to produce ornamental corn to sell at the market. Inspired by family traditions with her grandma, Zonka continues to draw inspiration from her youth. 

“It is kind of like a legacy thing. It makes me think of good thoughts with my grandma when I was younger, doing crafts with her. Carrying on her legacy,” Zonka said. 

Similarly, Garrett feels inspired by the Dayton community each time Corner Hill Farm sells at the market. 

“When we come to Dayton, it is fun to connect with the people. There are so many diverse people that come to the market and it connects us with a certain type of people, people that actually want to eat local, farm-raised vegetables,” Garrett said. 

Stalls at 2nd Street Market
Stalls at 2nd Street Market | Photo by Christian Peters | The Wright State Guardian

With this, the Second Street Market is not just a business, it is a place to connect with the community. 

“It is a place for people to come and socialize. It is a home away from home,” Santa Barbara said.