Perris Reed’s Market on Main offers handcrafted goods and homespun community spirit.
written by TARA WINE-QUEEN
photos courtesy of PERRIS REED
In the heart of Bridgeport stands a dream made real: Market on Main Artisan Store, the beloved brainchild of Oliverio granddaughter Perris Reed. Originally constructed as a church, the building bears the signs of years spent serving congregations and could still easily be mistaken for one from the outside. But when West Virginians gather inside now, it’s the artistry and effort of the state’s people that is being praised.
The shelves and tables spread throughout the market hold artful collections of carefully curated commodities. “It’s very exciting to just be in the presence of so much beauty and creativity,” Reed gushes. “We work with more than 60 West Virginia artists, makers, and farmers. You can find things like pottery, charcuterie boards, handmade candles, soaps, skin care products, and a wonderful variety of artwork.”
The market boasts space for dozens of vendors, including a shop called Eighteenth Avenue that has its own room in the store. Samantha Hall, owner of 18A and someone Reed calls “an absolute joy to work with,” sells women’s and toddlers’ clothing, jewelry, accessories, and gift items, and she runs social media for Market on Main.
The store’s offerings aren’t limited to nonperishable goods. Going into this endeavor, Reed knew she wanted to focus on food, something she has always been passionate about. “The brick-and-mortar farmers market portion of the store is expanding every day,” she says. “You can find all of your staple items like eggs, dairy, bread, flour, and produce. We have a large variety of locally sourced meat: grass-fed beef, pork, pasture-raised chicken, goat, and lamb.”
This aspect of the market is an area Reed would love to expand. “My hopes for the future are to continue to work with more local farmers and eventually have cafe tables and serve farm-to-table breakfast and lunch. I want to put a plate of food in front of you that I can tell you where every single thing on it came from—how it was raised, grown, cared for, and prepared.”
In addition to wanting to help the people of West Virginia feel physically better, Reed also strives to cultivate an atmosphere that is welcoming and accepting to all. “I want everyone to feel comfortable as soon as they walk through the door,” she says. “There is so much going on right now that is scary and unkind and overwhelming. I want the market to be a gathering place for a strong, nourished, hopeful, and connected community.”
When Reed isn’t busy with the store, she is happy spending time outdoors with her husband, Hunter, and two kids, Kathryn and Benjamin, all of whom have had their lives enriched by the market. “I think we will be evolving for many years to come,” Reed says, looking toward the future of the business. “Our goal is to keep moving forward at a manageable pace that also allows us to enjoy sunny days in our yard with our kids, bike rides, hikes, and all the stuff we love to do.”