SUGAR GROVE – While summer salads might feel a lifetime away during this polar-like winter it doesn’t have to stop people from enjoying some local food and goods directly from farmers and producers.
That’s what those who are promoting and participating in the Wintermarket Farmer and Vendor Fair are hoping for when it resumes on Jan. 13 at the Sugar Grove Public Library, 125 Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove.
“The event will be happening every second Saturday of the month until April,” Shannon Halikias, director of the Sugar Grove Public Library, said. “I feel the event has been steadily growing both in vendors and attendance and provides a nice indoor event for the community and an opportunity for local small businesses to sell and promote their work."
The Wintermarket will be from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Jan. 13, Feb. 10, Mar. 10 and Apr. 14.
“I am hoping that the more the word gets out, the more patrons will attend,” Halikias said. “It is a process to build a regular market, and the more publicity the better for the vendors' and patrons' experience.”
The frigid weather has limited the chickens from laying eggs at Grandma’s Farm Fresh Eggs, but once they return to laying, there will be eggs available, as well as honey and farm-raised beef, chicken, turkey and lamb frozen cuts. Grandma’s, a longtime vendor at this market and the Sugar Grove Farmer’s Market in the summer and fall, will be available once again this year.
For those with a sweet tooth, you’ll have to say hello to Sara Leopold, owner of Sara’s Custom Cookies and try a cookie or two. While many may have resolved to cut back on sugar and sweets, it may be hard to say no to her sugar cookies.
“I’ll be back in February,” Leopold said. “I like to be involved with a smaller community like Sugar Grove. Right now with the cold, snowman and snowflake [designs] are still popular, but I also do birthday parties year-round so the main reason I’m there is for people to buy individual cookies and hopefully people will look to make orders for bigger events, like birthdays.”
While the vendors who participate may vary each month, attendees likely will be able to purchase organic honey, community-supported agriculture produce and farm-raised meats as well as a wide array of goods, ranging from handcrafts, storage designs, jewelry and candles to baked goods, clothing, organic cleaning solutions and Mary Kay products.
Passages Cafe is also open during the Wintermarket, selling coffees, teas and sandwiches that it also sells regularly during library hours, as well as a variety of boutique items.
Additionally, Halikias and her staff have worked on pairing the Wintermarket with library events, such as Read to Rover, so that patrons may enjoy a variety of activities at the library during the same trip.
Vendors are asked to make a donation to the Friends of the Library if they believe that their sales have made it worthwhile to participate.
Attendance is always free.