AURORA — The local farmers’ market is set to open June 13, offering the community a source of fresh produce and other items, as well as a regular summer gathering place.
"The overall benefit is literally just giving people fresh food," said Matt Johnson, who organizes the market. "This is the opportunity for people to really buy fresh. It also brings the community together."
The farmers’ market will be open at the Church in Aurora, 146 S. Chillicothe Road, from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 29, with one exception — it will be closed July 4.
Aurora Economic Development Director Jack Burge said the emphasis is on healthy, local products.
"Most of the vendors, while they may not be Aurora in terms of local, they are from Northeast Ohio," he said. "We vet them very carefully to make sure they’re supplying things they’re doing themselves."
Johnson said the furthest vendors come from about 40 miles away, and there are a couple from Aurora.
"We’re working with Aurora Memorial Library," he said. "They come every other week to do storytimes, and they bring books and have a couple of chairs set up."
Other local supporters include the church and Anna Maria of Aurora, which helps sponsor the farmers’ market, said Johnson.
Local vendors include Buckeye Blends, an olive oil blender from Aurora; Joe’s Kettle Corn from Kent; Elderberry Trail Farm of Aurora; and Field of Blooms, a cut flower business from Mantua, said Johnson.
There will be several vendors providing ready-to-eat food, said Johnson, including Pierogies of Cleveland and a wood-fired pizza place.
"I also have three produce suppliers this year," he said. "I try not to double up on things since this is a small market."
He said there will be around 25 vendors at the site each week, most of them providing some kind of consumable goods, such as honey, garlic products, olive oil mixes, soaps and other items.
"I call it a boutique farmers’ market," said Johnson. "They do one or two items they’re very passionate about. Everyone kind of does their own thing."
There will be some entertainment at the market, including a young violinist who will start the second week, and Ultimate Party, which does balloon art and face painting.
"They’ve been on the Dave Letterman Show, and they go out to California in the winter and come here in the summertime," he said of Ultimate Party.
There are very few crafts being sold at the event. "We didn’t want it turning into a flea market," said Johnson.
The only exception will be a group of young entrepreneurs selling items as part of a program aimed at helping them become business leaders in the future, he added.
For more information, visit http://www.aurorafarmersmarket.org.
Reporter Bob Gaetjens can be reached at 330-541-9440, email@example.com or @bobgaetjens_rpc.