Weekly farmers market keeps it fresh and local in Corktown
As a new vegetarian, Detroiter Joann Castle is interested in natural foods and new recipes that can accommodate her meatless meals.
So it was only fitting that she visited the Corktown Farmers Market near her home Thursday, in the patio area of Detroit Institute of Bagels at 1236 Michigan Ave., just west of the Lodge Freeway.
"I came last week and I thought it was delightful," said Castle, 78. "Last week I bought mostly herbs, but this week I came back for greens and bread from Gold Cash Gold."
Castle was drawn by the aroma of the fresh produce, bread and prepared goods at the market, now in its third week. The market is open 4-7 p.m. Thursdays through October, said organizers.
A first for the Corktown neighborhood in 50 years, the market was partly the idea of Hannah Clark, co-owner of ACRE. Another organizer is Brother Nature Produce.
"We wanted to be able to sell in the neighborhood we were growing in," she said. "The neighborhood residents are interested in it and enjoy being able to walk out of their homes."
So far, the market has 15 vendors, said Clark, adding that they are looking for ways to expand. Vendors include Detroit Food Academy, Brooklyn Street Local, Food Field, Fresh Cut Flower Farm, Jane's Soups and Chili, Labrosse Farm, Motor City Soap, Rising Pheasant Farms, St Gall, Rose's Fine Food and What Up Dough.
"I think it's a great mix of people," said Michele Bezue, owner of Detroit Marshmallow Co., who sold her gourmet handcrafted marshmallows. She said she's gotten positive feedback from shoppers.
"They're surprised that marshmallows taste the way they do," she said. "People have really enjoyed it."
The patio space for the market was transformed with fencing and brick pavers, thanks to a $10,000 grant last year from Hatch Detroit, said Alex Howbert, co-owner of Detroit Institute of Bagels.
Detroiter Sarah Welch, executive chef for Republic restaurant, picked up some shoots and lemon balm during her visit.
"I think it's great," she said. "It's a blend of producers and people making product."
Welch noted one of the benefits of shopping at a smaller market. "It's a lot more approachable," she said.