Glencoe officials are hoping a location change for the weekly farmer’s market will bear fruit for a successful season.
The 2022 version of the market started June 2 and are scheduled to run on Thursday afternoons through Sept. 29 for a second consecutive year. New this year is the Village Court location, just a few steps away from the previous spot of Wyman Green.
“It is a little more visible from the downtown as well as those bypassing Hazel (Avenue),” village spokeswoman Sammy Hanzel explained regarding the decision to move.
Hanzel added village officials believe people on crutches or wheelchairs would more easily access the markets now on concrete as opposed to the grass of Wyman Green.
By moving the market to Village Court, that does remove the shade provided by the trees in Wyman Green. Hanzel said that was considered and to ease potential problems, vendors with merchandise sensitive to heat and sun in areas would be in areas protected by direct sunlight from the afternoon sun.
Ed Kugler, the market manager hired by the village, believed the Village Court spot would better serve the vendors as they would not have to park their cars in the lots and carry the merchandise to Wyman Green. Instead, they can park on Village Court behind the tents.
There will be a prohibition of vehicular traffic on the stretch of Village Court, which is just outside Village Hall, but Hanzel did not see that as a major impediment.
“We didn’t see that would be too much of an impact,” Hanzel said. “The fact that it is only for a few hours on a Thursday afternoon. We don’t get a ton of traffic through just that circle there. ”
One customer who noted the location change was Glencoe’s Wendy Chance. She thought the market was “wonderful,” but added, “It is prettier in the grass.”
Village resident Matt Miller supported the move.
“Instead of having people whiz by, it gives it some privacy and security, particularly for the kids. It is easier to see everything, ”he said.
Longtime vendor, Mikey Baser, whose husband is the owner of Barry’s Berries in Covert, MI spoke about the location change as she sold two varieties of asparagus, along with onions and rhubarb.
“I thought it was neat,” Baser said of the Wyman Green spot. “But no one knew it was there.”
Previewing the overall season, Kugler anticipated about 20 vendors each week selling assorted food and merchandise with only three vendors returning from 2021. The farmer’s market has been impacted by labor issues just as many service industries across the country are, according to Kugler.
“Labor is an extreme problem with a lot of farmer’s market people. Having multiple set ups and multiple days to be involved with, vendors have an issue covering all the bases, ”Kugler said.
However, he believes if the community supports the market, vendors will appear.
“As long as the patrons show up, the vendors will stay. That is the barometer of any market, ”Kugler said.
For this season, with the market held each Thursday afternoon for the consecutive year, customers will see added attractions, according to Kugler.
On the first day, Rainbow Cone ice cream was available for patrons and yoga classes are scheduled for the first Thursday of each month running from 4 – 5 pm Hanzel said various village boards and commissions would have a booth at some Thursdays explaining their work.
Kugler said he hopes musicians who previously performd at the market will perform at some this year as well.
The customers stopping by in the last hour of the June 2 opener included Glencoe’s Brooke Handwerker, along with her daughter, Leah.
“We love anything that is local to Glencoe and we love supporting any local event,” Handwerker said.
Daniel I. Dorfman is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.