West Hartford will have its third farmers’ market beginning August 2, 2014.
By Ronni Newton
West Hartford will have another venue for fresh produce and other local products when the Bishops Corner Farmers’ Market begins operation on Saturday, August 2 in the Starbucks’ parking lot off Albany Avenue, right near Crown Supermarket.
The market, which will be open from 9 a.m. t0 noon every Saturday through mid-October, will offer “traditional” farmers’ market fare that everyone expects, like tomatoes, corn, and fruit, and organizers also hope to have at least one non-food vendor – a jewelry-maker or other artist – each week. There will also be freshly-made baked goods such as chocolate turnovers and doughnuts.
Unique to the Bishops Corner Farmers’ Market, however, is a just-announced partnership with local caterer Café Louise.
“Café Louise will be joining us at the farmers’ market each week, offering a variety of foods like quiches, chilled soups, desserts, and barbecue sauce. It really makes our market unique,” said Bob Fressola, president of the Bishops Corner Neighborhood Association and one of the four residents who has been working for months to help launch the market. Café Louise will be sourcing locally-grown ingredients for some of their offerings, Fressola said.
Other vendors that will participate in the Bishops Corner Farmers’ Market include Newgate Farm, George Hall Farm, Bright Yellow Farm, Chubby Bunny Farm, GeoRoots Solar Growth Farm, and Barton Farm.
Fressola said it took much longer, and was much more difficult than anticipated, to get the market going. Finding a location that was willing to give up parking spaces was a major factor, and the committee is thankful to those in the community who helped secure the spot right along Albany Avenue near the intersection with North Main Street.
“We’re so grateful to those who have helped make this happen. Leonard Udolf, owner of Udolf Properties, has graciously allowed us to use his property for the market – without him we’d have no place to hold the market. Mr. Udolf’s tenants, Crown Market and Starbucks, have also agreed to the market,” said Fressola. He also specifically thanked Deputy Mayor Shari Cantor for the work she did in galvanizing support in the community.
“Everyone we talk with is so excited about the ability to walk, bike or take a quick car ride to a local farmers’ market,” said Fressola. He and other members of the Bishops Corner Neighborhood Association’s farmers’ market subcommittee – Elaine Lanzon, Janet Willits, and Steve Witt – believe that it’s a win-win for the area and will enhance the vitality of the neighborhood for residents and businesses alike.
“We hope it will provide something for everyone,” Fressola said.
Lanzon said that another benefit of having a neighborhood farmers’ market is to help people consider the source of the food they are consuming. “More and more people really want to better understand where their food comes from,” said Lanzon in a news release about the market. “This farmers’ market will provide an opportunity for the consumer to speak directly with the farmer – to learn exactly how a fruit, vegetable or other farm product has been produced.”
The farmers’ market initiative came as an outcrop of increased interest in the Bishops Corner neighborhood, said Fressola. The Bishops Corner Neighborhood Association, which includes residents and businesses, has an active presence supporting its goal of improving the area. In addition to the farmers’ market subcommittee, there are also vibrant arts and pedestrian/bike safety subcommittees.
Additional information about the farmers’ market and other activities can be found on the Bishops Corner Neighborhood Association Facebook page.