Shopping for goods during the 2016 Farmington Winter Artisan Market is Marlene Masterson, of Farmington.

Shopping for goods during the 2016 Farmington Winter Artisan Market is Marlene Masterson, of Farmington.

File photo by Donna Agusti


Winter farmers market to celebrate second year at Masonic Lodge

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published November 7, 2017

 Vendor Ed Zabik, from the Fostoria Bread Factory, gives a sample to Leigh Byrd, of Livonia, last year.

Vendor Ed Zabik, from the Fostoria Bread Factory, gives a sample to Leigh Byrd, of Livonia, last year.

File photo by Donna Agusti

 Bread made by the Fostoria Bread Factory in Fostoria awaits purchase last year.

Bread made by the Fostoria Bread Factory in Fostoria awaits purchase last year.

File photo by Donna Agusti

FARMINGTON — Some people shop. Others go fishing. Livonia resident Sharon Mitton uses baking as her outlet for fun. 

“When I was in the working class, I had a very high-stress job,” she said recently. “It was a very good stress relief to come home and bake, and now I just do it for fun.” 

Mitton, 64, a longtime baker, has baked sweets and delicious treats for family and friends since she was 12 years old. Her business, Baking Legends LLC, now feeds customers too. It’s one of about 25 businesses to be featured as vendors at this year’s Farmington Winter Artisan Market Nov. 18-Dec. 23 at the Farmington Masonic Lodge 151, 23715 Farmington Road.

Mitton has participated in the Farmington Winter Artisan Market since 2015, as well as in the summer Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market in the past.

“Since I’ve been doing the markets, I’ve met a lot of nice vendors, and the clients and customers that come — I’ve made some nice friends that way as well,” Mitton said.

Mitton sells homemade cookies, banana nut bread and more.

On Oct. 31 at market master Penny Oglesby’s farmhouse in downtown Farmington, she had a platter of Mitton’s triple chococlate maccancemia nuts on her kitchen table — situated next to a teapot containing another vendor’s piña colada green tea.

Oglesby said that this year’s winter market will be held at the Masonic Lodge for a second year in a row. Rotating vendors will sell wool clothing and other wool items, pottery, soaps, chocolates, and more. 

“Everybody seems to like it a lot,” she said of the space, adding that there is adequate parking, it’s easily accessible to foot traffic and it is close to senior housing. 

“(It is) just a good space, and the Masonic fellas have been so great — they’ve been very helpful. I enjoy having the market there.”

Oglesby volunteered for the market master position after organic gardener Jean Smith, who started the winter market, could no longer continue in the position because of a busy schedule.

Oglesby said the winter market started out at the Old Winery Farmers Market, then moved to the American Legion Groves-Walker Post 346 because the parking was better, but that location didn’t offer a lot of room for foot traffic.

She said that a lot of people don’t know that the Masonic Lodge building is historic or that it houses an active lodge.

Oglesby said that, for the most part, the Winter Artisan Market carries on from the city’s summer market.

“There is a little bit of a crossover with winter market and summer market,” she said. 

Oglesby said many people ask her why she continues doing the market.

“I’m not doing it for money — I’m doing it so I can have a stable market,” she said, adding that some of the proceeds benefit the Masonic Lodge for building upkeep and repair.

Last year, the market raised about $2,500. 

Typically, the winter market runs through April, but it was cut a few months short — ending in December — because Oglesby has a busy schedule with other commitments.

Oglesby said that the market has live background music and a variety of holiday-based items. She said that the vendors are very important to the market.

“These are small-business people. … If you don’t have a good vendor, people won’t come back, and you have to have a good product that they produce,”  she said, adding that she cares deeply that the vendors are content and that they “know that we’re like a big family.”

Detroit resident Rebecca Pickens, owner of the Gypsy Gems jewelry company, will be a new face in the family. 

Pickens, who creates jewelry by wrapping wire around stones and beach glass, sells her colorful wares for $5 to $60. She picks the beach glass herself.

“(They) go from garbage to pieces of jewelry,” she said.

Pickens said that she learned of the winter market online, and she is looking forward to working with Oglesby.

“They had excellent reviews, and I know a lot of people (don’t) take the time to review markets like they do restaurants, so I was impressed,” she said. 

For more information on Gypsy Gems, go to Instagram @_gypsygems or find the business on Facebook at GypsyGems.

Mitton said that she remembers a time when she was less fortunate and gave away her baked goods as gifts. Now, her gift-giving is paying her back.

“I really love it when I tell people at the market (that) I do it now for those who cannot, for those who don’t have time, and for those who just don’t want to,” she said, adding that the market has a diverse group of individuals.

“We really like to see the people come in. It’s worth the trip. It’s worth the trip,” she said.

Find Baking Legends LLC on Facebook.

For more information on the market, call (248) 212-4010.