ENGLEWOOD — April marks the end of the Englewood Farmers Market season and snowbirds are moving back north, but Englewood business owner Karen Tyree thought, “Why stop now?”
Tyree, who owns Ivy’s Attic Resale, approached Joyce Colmar, who for over 12 years owned the empty lot at the north side of Dearborn Street at Orange Street in Englewood, about starting their own farmers market.
Operated by the Englewood Center for Sustainability, the farmers market at Pioneer Park on Dearborn Street just ended a successful second season. The market was good for local business, driving traffic and crowds of up to 4,000 each Thursday to Dearborn Street and its merchants.
Enter a new Thursday market, scheduled to begin this Thursday, from 4-8 p.m. About 12 vendors are already signed up, including organic vegetables, gelato, juices, cheeses and olives, a taco stand, honey, homemade Hungarian food, several artists and an artisan soap maker. More are welcome to apply.
“People who work during the day can participate,” Colmar said. “Karen told me the market should go beyond catering to the snowbirds. So let’s keep it going for the locals.”
Colmar said she originally intended to develop the empty lot for a building, but economic conditions made the option cost prohibitive.
The Englewood Farmers Market was so successful, vendors had a difficult time finding a spot at the morning market.
“It became apparent to me that people were on a waiting list to get on the Englewood Farmers Market,” Colmar said.
Lee Perron, marketing manager of the Englewood Farmers Market, said the waiting list grew to 50 for foodrelated vendors and 25 for other vendors. Colmar said the plan is to run the Thursday evening market from May to June.
“We plan to start again in conjunction with season in October when the Englewood Farmers Market starts,” she said.
Tyree said the Englewood Farmers Market should expand.
“I love the farmers market,” Tyree said. “I’m sad to see it go away after season. I find in the summer months that it dies here. This is why Englewood dies in the summer.”
Response to the new market has been good so far.
“Everybody’s excited. It’s good for local business,” Tyree said. “It’s about keeping it local so that our locals don’t have to go elsewhere. Support of locals is imperative.”
Don Musilli, president of Englewood Center for Sustainability, said he’s curious about the new market.
“The lot (on Dearborn and Orange) is heavily wooded,” Musilli said. “That property is bigger than Pioneer Park. We will wait and see what and how well they do. The weather gets hot and it rains. It could be a challenge.”
“We don’t operate during the summer because of low attendance, weather and construction projects on Dearborn,” Perron said.
Upcoming projects at Pioneer Park include a hard walking surface, better electrical efficiency and additional parking, Perron said. The finished projects will benefit the Englewood Farmers Market.
Booths at the new evening market start at $25. Some booths will be available free for nonprofits. For more information, call 404-660-7629.