On the first and third Saturday of every month from December to April, shoppers at Meridian Mall can stop and browse the natural and locally grown produce sold at the Meridian Mall farmer’s market.
Instead of the usual limitation of fast food served at the mall’s food court, shoppers can bypass the food court and browse tables filled with an assortment of different homemade and homegrown goodies.
“The farmer’s market has been around for over 40 years,” said Christine Miller, Meridian farmer’s market manager. “The success of the market has been from the great support of customers and vendors over the years. This affects the community by providing them with access to fresh, local products and helping the local economy.”
Meridian Township’s Director of Parks and Recreation, LuAnn Maisner, said around 45 vendors set up shop up and down the JCPenney corridor.
“The market serves as a community gathering place and provides a happy atmosphere for all who attend,” said Maisner. “Because of our longstanding success, we are in the process of relocating the market to a nearby location to take advantage of ample parking. That move should happen by 2019. We also provide musical entertainment, children’s activities, and food trucks at our market.”
Some products available in February were goat milk soaps, lotions and cookies and a variety of seeds that can be used to start a garden.
“Everything at this market is very good for you,” said Roxanne Andrews, owner of Gluten Free Rox. “We have unique things to offer. I am a gluten free baker and there’s not a lot of us around.”
Julie Taiber, owner and baker at Dolic, an Italian bakehouse, said attending the farmer’s market is a great way to support the local economy and local vendors.
“I have been selling at the farmer’s market for almost one year exactly,” said Taiber. “The farmers market specializes in products made or grown locally and a lot of them tend to be organic.”
According to the winter 2016-17 Meridian Township farmer’s market rules, vendors are eligible to sell fruits, vegetables, flowers (fresh or dried), plants, homemade goods from raw materials (baked goods), and foods. The farmer’s market prohibits manufactured products along with products that cannot be grown in Michigan.
“We provide a location where the customers can speak directly with the people who grew the food,” said Maisner.
The farmer’s market began in 1974. During the winter months, the market is located in the mall from 10 a.m-2 p.m, but from May through October, it’s outdoors at 5151 Marsh Road.
“I find Meridian Township farmer’s market to be a strong asset to our community,” said Meridian Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus. “It has widespread name recognition and people come not just from their own community but from all over to buy these products.”