Chris Thomas, executive director of Chattanooga Public Market, Inc., told the Chattanooga Hamilton Place Rotary Club that the downtown market is ranked one of the top 10 public markets in the country.
He said, "We have a large selection of farmers, artists, and musicians. There's really something for everyone."
Mr. Thomas and the rest of the staff work to make the market exciting. He said, "We have a different theme every weekend, so people come back Sunday after Sunday.
On an average weekend, he said customers come from up to 50 miles away.
Another little known fact about the Chattanooga Market is that it has no government funding.
Mr. Thomas said, "We're proud of the fact that we're not dependent on the winds of political change."
The market also continues to grow. Mr. Thomas said that hopefully, a location will open in the Collegedale area next year.
Another project launched by CPM is Chattanooga WorkSpace, which according to their website, is "a facility which offers creative professionals private studios and collaboration space at the most affordable rates possible."
Mr. Thomas said, "We've had people move from Manhattan, from Houston, from all over the country simply because of the availability of these artist studios."
Created from a renovated senior home, the building has now become a thriving community for professional artists.
He told the club that while taking over the market was one of the "most rash decisions" he had ever made, it was also one of the most rewarding.