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Vendors, customers excited when the farmers market opens

Kaylor McIntosh of Ignite Donuts in Mount Pleasant was ready to greet hungry customers on the opening day of the Midland Area Farmers Market on May 4, 2024 in the east parking lot of Dow Diamond.

Kaylor McIntosh of Ignite Donuts in Mount Pleasant was ready to greet hungry customers on the opening day of the Midland Area Farmers Market on May 4, 2024 in the east parking lot of Dow Diamond.

Adam Ferman/for the daily news

By 11:30 a.m. Saturday, more than 2,500 people had attended the season-opening day of the Midland Area Farmers Market in Dow Diamond’s east parking lot, where many carried away flowers, honey, butter and other sweet and savory treats on a cool, cloudy morning.

“Today was great,” said Emily Lyons, director of the Midland Area Farmers Market. “It’s been a long winter and this is the start of outdoor celebrations in Michigan, celebrating agriculture and community.”

She was also grateful for the debut of the recognizable Midland Area Farmers Market tent, featuring the agency’s logo.

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Lyons said it was great to see all the farmers returning, along with some new food trucks, bake shops and a knife sharpener set to open in June. New vendors include Thistle Dew Creamery and Jack’s Bakeshop. Lyons said the market will have a butter seller for the first time. She said more than 70 vendors participate in the market.

“I heard this is the market to go to,” said Beth Rupprecht, owner of Vassar’s Thistle Dew Creamery. “We brought the butter.”

She said the sales on the first day make her excited to be at the market, especially considering the weather wasn’t great. Thistle Dew will be at the market twice a month.

Rupprecht’s creamery offers several types of butter, including garlic parmesan, cinnamon honey, maple syrup and chocolate flavors.

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According to Rupprecht, the company started flavoring butter last year. She said she learned from a beer company how to make things you like.

Another first-time seller in the Midland market was Jack’s Bakeshop, owned by Jacquelyn Kuczynski of Bay City.

“It was a great experience and fun to get together with all the local vendors,” Kuczynski said. “Everyone was so welcoming.”

The bakery offers muffins, cookies, challah bread, quick breads and more. Some items sold out before the market closed that day.

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“Business has been good,” Kuczynski said.

Returning salesperson Lynne Jacques of Jacques Orchard in Hemlock, who runs a booth with her husband Gary, agreed business was good on opening day. Jacques has been coming for over 20 years, but the family has been selling at the market for 50 years. She said her husband remembers selling at the market with his parents as a child. Jacques said the orchard sells jellies, donuts, asparagus and maple syrup.

Many people were all smiles at the opening of the market.

“It’s opening day and we wanted to support local vendors,” said Tina Thompson of Midland as she walked through the market area with her husband Mike. “We come very often to give our support.”

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Saturday was the first time that Midlander Dave Russ visited the market.

“It’s new to me, but I liked the donuts,” said Russ, who attended with friends including Lisa Brown, her son Andrew Brown, his wife Emily and their children Bowden and Violet.

“We love it and we come back almost every weekend,” said Emily Brown, who loves the Makin’ Bacon and Sawadee food trucks.

Violet Brown, 5, said she loves popcorn, and Bowden, 2, is a fan of the cookies at the market.

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Another patron, Deb Louks of Midland, wishes the market would return to the Tridge area where it was until 2020, but she is grateful for the freshness and variety of the market.

Lyons thanked Isabella Bank for its continued assistance with debit and credit card services and MyMichigan Health for providing a food navigator to assist with healthy options and different recipes. Lyons said it’s a big commitment and they are grateful.

The farmers market is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays through October 26. The market is also open on the first three Saturdays of November from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. For more information, visit https://mbami.org/farmersmarket/.

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