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  • Fresh Finds: EastChase Farmers Market

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    Beginning bright and early (at 7 am), the crowds start to wander among rows of pop-up tents lining one section of the parking lot, and they come to fill up on wholesome, farm-fresh fruits and veggies, dairy delights and more at The Shoppes at EastChase Farmers Market.
     
    According to Marketing Manager at The Shoppes at EastChase Suzanna Wasserman, the market started in 2004 to fill a void. “There was a need to get locally sourced produce and other products on the east side of town,” she said. Since that first Saturday 15 years ago, the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. “An average of 3,000 people attend the market each Saturday, and we are in the top five markets in the state of Alabama,” Wasserman said.
     
    The market allows River Region residents a one-stop shopping experience where they can find honey, peaches, squash, corn, Wagyu beef, ice cream, baked goods, jams and more from the 40-plus vendors at the market. They also get the opportunity to support local businesses. “Our Farmers Market has become a Saturday tradition for families,” said Wasserman. “We love the opportunity to connect Alabama farmers and makers with the Montgomery community.”
     
    It’s also benefitting area farmers, giving them an additional outlet for their goods, as Wasserman explained. “Many of our farmers are multi-generation family farms, and our market gives them an opportunity to provide for their families as well as raise awareness about why people should support local farms,” she said. “Many of our makers started out at our market and have since gained massive followings.”
     
    KNOW YOUR FARMER
    Slocomb
    John Aplin, Aplin Farms
    • Growing: More than 200 varieties of fruits and veggies, including tomatoes (which Slocomb is famous for), peaches, corn, peas and more.
    • Farming Since: 1952
    • At Farmers Market Since: 2004
    • His Take: “It’s a very good, successful market, one of the better markets in state that we go to, and we go to 12. It has lots of good vendors and good customers. About 25 percent of all of our sales come from the markets, so they are an important piece of our business.”
     
    Montgomery
    Karen Preuss, Fennel + Figs
    • Making: Jams and preserves, spices, granola and baked goods (cookies, muffins, scones and more)
    • Making Since: 2017
    • At Farmers Market Since: 2018
    • Her Take: “Being at the market has grown my business [which is a side business; Her day job is Assistant Director for Montgomery City/County Public Library System} in an unbelievable way. Both the shoppers and other vendors are fabulous. Last year, I would say the market represented 50 percent of my gross sales. That’s huge.”
     
    Tallassee
    Leonardo Vasquez, Leo’s Produce
    • Growing: A little of everything, including strawberries, greens, tomatoes, peppers and sunflowers
    • Farming Since: 2009
    • At Farmers Market Since: 2013
    • His Take: “I love being face-to-face with our customers and selling direct. I know they are getting our freshest items to take home and enjoy. And I really like the atmosphere at the market.”
     
    VERIFIED VEGGIES
    The EastChase Farmers Market is a certified Alabama Farmers Market and only allows the sale of produce that is grown within the state of Alabama
     
    #supportlocal
    Supporting Alabama farmers and makers is an extra perk for visiting famers markets this season. Watch @theshoppesateastchase on Instagram for more information and vendor highlights each week.
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