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Rivermarket creates big opportunity for local businesses

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Monroe's Downtown Rivermarket is officially open and creating a big opportunity for local entrepreneurs.

Hundreds of people visited the Rivermarket on it's opening day. This week's theme was "Art, Wine and Food" and there was plenty of each.

Local businesses are excited for the opportunity to show off their products. One vendor is selling one-of-kind works of art along the Ouachita River this season.

"I went out in the woods, I found a cypress stump behind the loggers who had cut the tree down," says Craig Stevens, "I took it home, and I sanded it, and shined it up and made it real pretty."

Craig Stevens has created "Swamp Tables" for the past year and a half. He spends weeks on each handmade piece of furniture.

"Here in Monroe I hope this Rivermarket will be a real success because there's more people here than in Chatham."

Stevens usually sells his tables on the side of the road in Jackson Parish, but he's come to the new Rivermarket to put his business on the map.

According the Rivermarket Director Myra Gatling-Akers, the overwhelming turnout at the Rivermarket means more money invested into local vendors and into our community.

"We have a lot of new vendors to the area and they just want to be here to market their product, and everybody's just having a great day," says Gatling-Akers.

Craig Stevens says he had a great opening day regardless of how many swamp tables he sold. He hopes customers will come back to visit him ready to buy with enough money to put on the table for his swamp tables.

To contact Stevens about his custom furniture, visit him on Mariah Road in Chatham, Louisiana, or at (318) 265-0696.

For more information about the Rivermarket, visit DowntownRivermarket.com.

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