The Market Elaine photos by Charmaine George

Straight from the “How to Grow Something Special Out of Nearly Nothing” handbook, our congratulations go out to CEO Blair Valentine of The Market Culture, who organized and put on her first “Market Elaine” First Friday event at The Village at The Grove in October 2021 with little more than 20 crafters and vendors and an idea.

Less than a year and a half later, The Market Elaine, named for Blair’s paternal grandmother Dolaura Elaine, features more than 150 vendors, plus entertainment for kids and adults. The event held the First Friday of each month now attracts thousands of visitors to well beyond The Village area of The Grove. In fact, the vendors now reach south from The Village to The KRATE container park.

“This is so much fun,” a visitor walking her golden doodle named Janice told me. “I’ve found delicious baked goods for me, dog treats and toys for her and some great gifts for my family.”

And, even the existing brick-and-mortar businesses at The Grove say they now get a nice bounce from the Market Elaine.

Steve Falabella, who owns both the Falabella Family Bistro and 900º New York Pizza in The VIllage, says “We’re already packed every weekend at the Bistro,” Falabella says. “But, the Market Elaine has definitely attracted a lot of new faces and kept the pizza place hopping, too.” 

The next Market Elaine will be held Friday, April 7, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.. For more info, visit

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