Sugar Grove Farmers Market continues to grow
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Farmers Market this year is bigger and better than ever, along with a wider selection of vendors for patrons to choose from, according to head volunteer Pat Graceffa.
“We have fresh veggies, fruit, eggs, meat, cheese, bread, bakery (items) and cupcakes, too, along with native plants, beautiful flowering baskets, jewelry, makeup, Tupperware, Pampered Chef and gourmet dog treats,” Graceffa said. “So (we have) something for everyone in the family.”
Graceffa, a longtime Sugar Grove resident, helps with the organization of the Sugar Grove Farmers Market. The event takes place every Saturday, rain or shine, in the Sugar Grove Village Hall parking lot, 10 Municipal Drive and Route 30, from 8 a.m. to noon during the months of June, July, August and September.
Last year, there were requests from the community for the farmers market to feature additional vendors.
“Our turnout has been good in the last three weeks,” Graceffa said. “People told us last year that they wanted more vendors. Well, this year we have the vendors. Now we need more people from our community and surrounding communities to come out weekly and support the market. It is Illinois fresh, and we need to support our Illinois farms.”
Graceffa is passionate about buying local produce from local farmers. She believes it is important for people to eat food that is natural and as close to the original source as possible.
“It is good to talk to the actual farmer who is raising the veggies or meat that you will be serving your family for dinner tonight,” she said.
And there is an abundance of fresh produce at the farmers market. Milt Westlake of Norway Farms Produce has been a farmer for several decades and is currently bringing his fresh produce each Saturday to the Sugar Grove event.
In addition to featuring a plethora of vegetables, Norway Farms Produce also offers jams, butter and salsa from a company in Georgia. They also have popcorn that Westlake has been growing for 40 years, according to his employee, Dawn Howard.
Howard commented on the success of this year’s farmers market thus far.
“It’s been good,” she said. “Pat is the best at getting it out there and scheduling posts on Facebook. She’ll talk about what she’ll buy here, and other people will comment on her post with different things they bought.”
Amazing Breads & Cakes, LLC, a family-owned business out of Yorkville, regularly brings its healthy breads, goods and jellies to the Sugar Grove Farmers Market on Saturdays. Their breads and other goods are all natural (non-GMO) and organic. They are all made from local ingredients with no preservatives or sugar. A few of their regular breads they bring are country, whole grain, sourdough, cheese bread, rosemary potato, French bread, different variety of pizza crusts and more.
Curds and Whey Cheese Company is setting up shop at the farmer’s market on a regular basis. Owner Rob Murphy works with a number of farmers and importers in the city.
“We have very fresh cheese,” Murphy said. “Our cheeses range from local to European. Our best seller is fresh mozzarella this time of the year.”
Makeup is also a part of the market on Saturdays. Vicky Johnson-Lamb of Woodridge, Ill., and Khadija Khan of Oswego, Ill., are Mary Kay consultants who have been devoting some of their time to the farmer’s market.
“I’m a newer consultant, so I thought it would be great to go with Vicki to the farmers market,” Khan said. “It’s been great so far. Pat has been a great help, too.”
Baked goods are prevalent in the form of cupcakes, as well. Chelsea Turner of West Aurora has attended the farmers market the past five weeks with her business, Cupcakes by Chelsea.
“I used to bake when I was little, and I decided to start baking again,” Turner said.
Turner creates all her own recipes from scratch and brings a variety of her creations every Saturday. Last Saturday, she had strawberry, cinnamon, cookie dough and s’more. She also accepts custom orders.
“I just had one lady order 30 cupcakes,” Turner said. “People are so friendly here.”
Photo: Organizers of the Sugar Grove Farmers Market have made a push for more vendors for the 2014 market, and hope the community continues to support it. The Sugar Grove Farmers Market takes place at 10 Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove, from 8 a.m. to noon ever Saturday, through September. Photo submitted by Pat Graceffa to NJunes@elburnherald.com