In season: New Brighton Farmers Market set to start at new location


Hula hooping is a popular activity at the New Brighton Farmers Market. In addition to local food and craft vendors, there will be live music and performances throughout the summer, including interactive activities for young shoppers. (courtesy of New Brighton Farmers Market )

The New Brighton Farmers Market starts Wednesday, June 19, at its new location at the New Brighton Community Center. 

More than 25 vendors will set up shop in the upper parking lot, including many familiar faces as well as a fair number of newcomers, selling everything from homemade bread to smoked meat sandwiches to recycled paper earrings. 

After starting in 2016, the market spent three summers at the United Theological Seminary. When the building was sold to become an elementary school, which would need the full use of its parking lot, the market needed to find a new home, according to its manager, Angela Fredrickson.

It relocated with help from the City of New Brighton, which facilitated the market’s use of the community center parking lot, where the event will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday through September. 

In addition to weekly markets, Fredrickson has helped plan four “Maker Days” for this summer. At one market per month, there will be 10 to 15 additional local artists and crafters at the community center. 

Autumn Sandberg is one of those vendors. She’ll be at the Maker Days with her husband to sell their hand-carved wooden bowls, pens, bottle openers and more. A New Brighton resident, Sandberg said she’s looking forward to the new location.

“There are so many people that go to the community center to work out or to pick up their kids from the play yard inside,” said Sandberg. “And having a library there, that gives a huge amount of people exposure to the market.”

Other themed days include Health & Wellness Day on July 17, which will include a visit from the Salt Cave Mobile, a mobile spa, and Dog Days of Summer on Aug. 14, when specialty vendors will come sell dog food, accessories and themed art.

In addition to being a place for people to buy fresh food and support the local economy, Fredrickson sees the market as a modern-day forum, where community members can spend time getting to know each other.

“It gives families of all different economic statuses the ability to come to a community event and purchase local foods,” said Fredrickson.

While she wasn’t able to facilitate getting food assistance programs accepted at the market this year, she said she’s looking into it for the future. This summer, the market will be participating in the “Power of Produce” program, which is designed to help children make healthy food choices. 

Young visitors to the market can go to the organizers’ booth and pick up a token, worth $2, which they can use to buy something from any produce vendor. The market will reimburse the vendor for tokens they accept throughout the day. 

After picking up their produce, young shoppers with a sweet tooth can stop at Grandpa’s Ice Cream. Owner Kathy Simmons has been working to collaborate on new flavors with fellow vendors, and is hoping to experiment with smoked brisket from the Hickory Hog and even mushrooms from R&R Cultivation. 

“We have the ability to make whatever I want, what’s in season,” said Simmons of her small-batch process. She’ll also have standby flavors like salty caramel and maple nut

For more vendor details and a complete list of events, visit the “New Brighton Farmers Market-Minnesota” Facebook page. The community center is located at 400 10th St. NW.

 

–Bridget Kranz can be reached at bkranz@lillienews.com or 651-748-7825.

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