Oct. 31, 2017
Indoor farm market will return to Oaklawn on Nov. 8 for winter season
MARSHALL – Lasting snow might not arrive for awhile, but winter hours are returning at the Marshall Area Farmers Market’s site inside Oaklawn’s main campus.
The cool-weather indoor market that was launched two years ago has been an annual success, said market manager Lynne Meservey.
The summer outdoor market on Green Street ended Oct. 28, and the season’s first indoor market was scheduled to get under way on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 8.
As in past years, scores of customers are expected to be on hand to greet at least 15 vendors, most of them familiar to frequent market-goers.
“We’ve learned each year how supportive the Oaklawn staff can be in making the process easier for all involved,” Meservey said.
“It makes it so much easier because the Oaklawn staff do the setup for us and takedown for us,” she said. “We don’t have room for all the vendors we have on Green Street, but the work is simpler – and that means we can run things with fewer volunteers.”
The winter market’s standard hours will be exclusively from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays through April 2018 in the lobby of Oaklawn’s main campus at 200 N. Madison St.
“The winter market has been a natural expansion of Oaklawn’s commitment to healthy choices in the community, and we love being part of it,” said Bill DeSmet, Oaklawn’s executive director of business development and ancillary services.
Oaklawn provides the space free of charge to the market’s organizers, in the large open space adjacent to Ella’s Cafe and the Gift Shop. Oaklawn opened its doors to the organization for the first time two years ago.
“Having a winter market gives us a year-round opportunity to have income for the vendors and the organization as a whole,” Meservey said, adding that working with Oaklawn remains positive and support for the market has been enthusiastic.
Visitors to the winter market will find many familiar vendors such as Dark Horse Commons, The Cheese People, Grampa’s Pastys, Kahoona’s Kitchen, Lavender & Honey, Modern Dinosaur, Old MacDonald’s Farms & Cuppycakes, Youz Guys Sausage Co., Eicher’s Bakery, Greener Grass Beef, Pheasant Hollow, Frontiere Farm House, Nottawa Crossings, Macon Creek, Carpenter’s Greenhouse and JJ’s Sweets.
Meservey said the winter market soon is expected to reach its capacity of 18 vendors.
“We average 250 shoppers on market days,” Meservey said. “They come to purchase baked goods, fresh eggs, meats, honey, artisan breads, coffee beans, hoop house vegetables, healthy snacks, essential oils, spices, artisan works, cheese and much more.”
A new concept being tried this year is called “Let’s Do Lunch”. It will bring local and regional food services to the market where they can sell items from their menus to employees and customers, Meservey said.
“Oaklawn’s employees typically shop on their breaks and are especially drawn to items they can eat while they walk about during their breaks or lunch,” Meservey said.
“Oaklawn is committed to supporting area businesses, and we believe this is an idea opportunity for our employees to learn more about what the region has to offer,” DeSmet said.
“We hope that this ‘taste of the town’ idea will be great way for local restaurants to be promoted, while offering Oaklawn employees a different and fun lunch experience at the workplace,” Meservey said.
“Oaklawn and the market represent healthy ideals in our community, so we also will continue supporting non-profit groups when we have openings,” she said. “And we’ll have fun as often as we can!”
The Marshall Area Farmers Market was begun in 2003 as a way for Michigan vendors to find local customers for their fresh, locally grown produce. As it did in past years, the summer market is expected to operate Saturdays in the parking lot on the south side of the 100 block of Greet Street near Zion Lutheran Church.