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The Taylor Farmer’s Market, presented by Beaumont, is open for business on Fridays in Heritage Park’s Sheridan Center Open Air Pavilion. This year’s new hours are noon-6 p.m. each Friday.
This season’s market opened on June 7 with a new focus, under new management. The market is being managed through the Taylor Recreation Department, and includes new Market Manager Nicole Hellar. Hellar is a veteran of the popular Eastern Market in Detroit, where she serves as food access coordinator for the Eastern Market Corporation. She is a graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agribusiness Management.
Hellar hopes to not only to keep the regular vendors at the market, but add a variety of new ones that would give it the type of feel that the Eastern Market brings to the table. Taylor isn’t ever going to grow as large, but it’s been a dominant figure Downriver among local market. Inside the 41,000-square-foot Sheridan pavilion, has plenty of room for growth.
Over 20 vendors have signed up for this season’s market, and others may join the crowd as the season progresses. Included are such popular returners as Evie’s Tamale’s from Bagley Street in Detroit, which serves a popular crowd Downriver and sells out almost every Friday at the market. If you haven’t purchased (and devoured) a bag of Evie’s Tamales, you haven’t lived a complete life. Cochina's GTO food truck also plans to be on hand, offering the best in Mexican delights.
Thom Ouellette, who stepped down this year as market manager, returns to run the produce table supplied by the Blair Moody Elementary School greenhouse and other Taylor garden locations like the Goodwill Gardens in Heritage Park and a new garden located in the Heritage Park Petting Farm. The produce at this table, and others in the market like B & B Produce, are extremely fresh and low priced. The market itself offers various produce at low prices -- this Friday, it will have a limited amount of Michigan strawberries for sale, while they last.
Another popular vendor is the MI Cookie Project. Recently featured on Mitch Album’s “Heart of Detroit,” the Melvindale-based project provides hands-on work for individuals with developmental disabilities. And take it from us: Their cookies are huge, and to die for! Again, they are very fairly priced and fresh. If you fall in love with their products, you can talk to anyone at the table and find out how to order them online for cravings during the cold weather months when the market isn’t in session.
Every vendor at the market has its own story. The King Honey Farm offers honeys and jams, and Kitty Kat Creations offers perfect gifts for loved ones (unless you are shopping for yourself). The Taylor Community Library even has a table, and if you stop by the Color Street vendors, they’ll do your nails, ladies. Loves Custards will be joining the market, as will a houseplant vendor with offering for $7 or less.
Beaumont always has a presence at the entrance to the market – this Friday, June 21, they will be offering free blood pressure screenings – and Lovelillyrose Design offers crocheted items of all types and sizes.
The market continues to offer the Power of Produce Program. The program provides a fun opportunity for children to engage in the local food system through exposure to new fruits and vegetables. POP kids receive vouchers to spend at the market, allowing them to make their own shopping decisions – as long as they are choosing produce.
The market is planning a “pet day” sometime in July, after the Taylor Summer Festival. When it is scheduled, it will offer pet adoptions through the Taylor Animal Shelter, splash pad access for pets and their owners and even a photo area devoted just for them.
July 12 will also bring “Senior Days” to the market (noon-3 p.m.) when the Senior Alliance will provide $20 Senior Market Fresh Vouchers to seniors who qualify for the giveaway. A shuttle will be providing seniors round-trip transportation from the William Ford Senior Center to the market. Another “Seniors Day” will be held on August 9.
Other dates of note will include a classic car show during the July 19 market and Zumba sessions on site during the July 12 and August 9 markets.
Don’t let a summer Friday go by without visiting the Taylor Farmer’s Market. Admission and parking are free, produce is fresh, lunch is warm and ready and there something at every table for some lucky person.
(Note: Vendors interested can inquire directly to Nicole Hellar at firstname.lastname@example.org.)