While the pandemic left many local vendors without farmers markets to sell their goods as the holidays approached last year, Lacey Smith teamed up with Wanda Dailey to transform Dailey’s barn into Tomball’s newest outdoor shopping center—Loblolly Market.

“We had a couple of people that were just relieved to see something that, you know, they had taken for granted as normal,” Loblolly manager Smith said. “Just people walking, running, enjoying and just seeing some unique art that just spoke to them versus just, you know, being shut in at home all the time.”

What started in November as a market of 10 vendors expanded into 40. Teachers, mothers and small business owners will sell a diverse range of products at the upcoming market Saturday, June 12 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m at 22022 Loblolly Drive, Tomball.

“This is a truly local market,” Smith said. “Your next-door neighbors are showing what makes them joyful and sharing it with you. You're supporting a real person.”

Loblolly aims to occur the first weekend of each month, but it will not hold markets in July or August due to the heat, Smith said.

Products and services range from furniture to baked goods and even goat soaps.

Dessert 1st owner Megan Stamps started her business in April 2020 when the pandemic allowed her more free time to bake. Loblolly will be Stamps' first market. Her business operates under cottage law which only allows her to sell directly to the customer, either from her home, a pop-up shop or a market.

Stamps first discovered Loblolly while walking around Tomball last month with her husband.

“I liked the setting and the fact that it was in a barn that was very homey and in a neighborhood. And despite the really awful weather that day—I mean it was rainy and gross—despite all that weather, there were a lot of customers present,’ Stamps said. “I was impressed with them being able to bring in customers even on a crummy day.”

Stamps will sell apple and pecan pies along with cookies and macarons at Saturday’s market.

Loblolly hopes to expand to include farmers' produce like honey, fruit and vegetables and increase the number of artists to include pottery and paintings, Smith said.

“You know how when people can go on Etsy and find almost anything beautifully made? We want to be an Etsy that you can just walk up to and find it,” Smith said.