Staying power

Nashville farmers market vendors' stories stick with patrons

Brenda Sadler-Waters at the Nashville Farmer’s Market/ Provided
Brenda Sadler-Waters at the Nashville Farmer’s Market/ Provided
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Before he began selling small-batch seltzer, Keaton Presti-Stringfellow was a therapist. You can see it in the way he talks to customers. During a recent Saturday at the Franklin Farmers Market, as he was working the booth for Maypop Sparkling Water, he was doing the typical farmers market thing of chatting up passers-by. But there was a quality to his listening — the steady eye contact, the follow-up questions — that made him seem truly engaged.

I watched him make brief but legitimate connections with several people, and when I bought my own pack of assorted Maypop flavors (lemon, tangerine, lime, and grapefruit-orange), I felt the connection myself. For a few minutes, I was talking to a nice guy who happened to be a merchant. The selling seemed beside the point.

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