Photos by KJ Ryan / Photo Editor: Smith’s Market is a locally-owned small business that offers a variety of fresh produce, old-fashioned sweets and toys, and more. This story is the first in a series of local business features.

By Sam Bailey / Editor in Chief

As a child, the sensation of walking into a toy shop can only be matched by walking into a candy store.

The walls are lined with everything the heart desires and more, all waiting to be played with or eaten when your parents aren’t looking.

Smith’s Market in Hutchinson gives a similar experience to not only children but people of all ages. 

“Smith’s Market is an old-fashioned market that has been a downtown Hutchinson landmark since 1933,” said Chris Barnes, co-owner of the market. “What started out as just a fruit and vegetable market in 1933 has tripled in size since then and now offers over 300 varieties of candies, nuts, and trail mixes, as well as over 100 varieties of glass bottled sodas, specialty foods, and Kansas foods.”

The store, located at 211 South Main Street, allows customers to step back in time and take a break from the chaos of the outside world.

A mural of the original Smith’s Markets’ facade is featured on the modern store’s wall to give customers a connection to the original shop.

“I think the coolest thing about the market is watching people when they first walk in the front doors and take it all in,” Barnes said. “It’s like no other store I’ve ever seen. It makes this busy life slow down just a bit, allows us to relax, and take a break from the day – all while perusing for fabulous foods and gifts.”

Smith’s Market was founded in 1933 and was bought by Barnes’s father from the Smith family in 1957. The store was then bought by Barnes and his wife Gail in 2005.

“Since then, we have returned the front facade to its original look, restored the wood floors and tin ceilings, and expanded the store,” Barnes said.

Whether you are looking for fresh produce, candy, old fashion toys, fresh fudge, or more, Smith’s Market is the place to go.

“I went to Smith’s Market a lot when I was little with my mom and sisters,” said Hutchinson Community College sophomore Jordan Galliher. “I think it’s a really cool place because they have a lot of unique products that you can’t really find anywhere else in Hutch.”

While Smith’s Market is a unique store that brings in people from all over the region, it is still a local store that is trying to survive a pandemic.

“No small business can survive without the support of fantastic customers,” Barnes said.

This diamond-in-the-rough is open every Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and gives customers a safe space to walk around and feel like they can let out their inner child.

No matter what you are looking for they have something to offer.

When asked about what people should buy at the market, Barnes said, “That’s a tough one. I’d say that our bulk Java John’s coffee is one of my favorites. It’s roasted weekly in McPherson just for us. If they are not a coffee fan, they should try our amazing fresh fudge that we make weekly in the store, or whatever fresh produce item we are featuring that week.”

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