Purchasing locally grown produce can be done every year at the Meridian Township Farmers’ market. The market hosts over 20 vendors every Saturday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Some vendors have been partnering with Meridian selling products for years, and other vendors include new entrepreneurs like Bri Makaric, MSU student and founder of Brite Bites.
“My company is not over a year old yet and so growing customer base is very important,” said Makaric. “Meridian Township Farmers’ Market has allowed me to sell my products and grow customers from the local area.”
The Meridian Township farmers’ market is not limited to vendors who live in Meridian, but is also open to vendors outside of Meridian Township as well. They come from towns as far as Grand Rapids and as close as Lansing.
“This market has been established for a very long time and has helped my brothers business become a true success,” Sue Hickmott, employee of Currant Mist, said. “The people who support always come back and are very loyal to supporting local businesses.”
While the market is helping vendors, it also helps local residents. One of them being Nicole Shaffer who stumbled across the farmers’ market a few weeks ago during a morning hike through Meridian. She even recommends the farmers’ market to her friends over shopping at the grocery store.
“Supporting these people really makes me happy and I have been coming back every week,” said Shaffer,a MSU student. “Everything is fresh. My boyfriend and I treat ourselves to the Farmers Market after our hikes every week.”
Vendors accept cash, card and Double Up Food Bucks from supporters. Double Up Food Bucks is an initiative to help people who receive government money every month get more food for less. “A mother just thanked us for having this program because she has five growing boys and they go through food very fast,” volunteer Sophie Kirchoff said.
With programs like Double Up Food Bucks, vendors and volunteers who are dedicated and customers who are loyal the farmers market continues to grow every year, according to Conner Dunlop and MSU student, who managed the farmers’ market while the marketing manager of this event was out of town.