Shelby Township Farmers Market celebrates a decade with more unique offerings

By: Joshua Gordon | Shelby - Utica News | Published May 25, 2018

 Ginn Farms will be one of many vendors at the Shelby Farmers Market this year. The weekly event is celebrating 10 years in 2018.

Ginn Farms will be one of many vendors at the Shelby Farmers Market this year. The weekly event is celebrating 10 years in 2018.

Photo provided by the Packard Proving Grounds

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Packard Proving Grounds is celebrating 90 years in 2018, and the Shelby Farmers Market, which takes place at the historic site just off Van Dyke Avenue between 22 Mile and 23 Mile roads, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The Shelby Farmers Market opened May 26, after press time, and Market Master Mary Anne Demo said that this year’s market will celebrate the milestones by adding a new component that embraces history.

The market is expanding with vintage and retro items, and selling them alongside the produce, food items and handmade goods sold at the farmers market.

“It is all about history this year, so we decided to celebrate with the whole recycle, repurpose and reuse idea,” Demo said. “Maybe you don’t have time to do a garage sale, but each week you can bring a few things to the market and help get some of your clutter out and let someone else take it home.”

The vintage and retro vendors will pay the $20 vendor fee each week they are at the market as a way to make sure those vendors are taking it seriously, Demo said, and not bringing run-down items.

The farmers market will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday through Oct. 27.

Demo said the market started in Shelby Township because there was a need. Working at other markets in metro Detroit, Demo said people would have to travel to Mount Clemens or Rochester for a market, and they wanted something closer.

What sets the Shelby Farmers Market apart, Demo said, is that there are fewer restrictions on who can be a vendor. Demo said they like to let the market dictate what should be there.

The staples will be there, like Ginn Farms, who was there in the first year, but Demo said the goal is to open up the market to people who are doing something different, whether it be handmade items or unique food.

It doesn’t always work, Demo said, but people aren’t denied as much as they are at other markets in the area.

“Within reason, when people come and have something out of the ordinary, we give them a try,” she said. “If they don’t sell well, they don’t come back. I may see something I think won’t sell well, but I have been wrong before, so we let the market decide what they would like out there.”

Amanda Rumble’s business, Trusted Loving Pet Care, is an example of the variety at the market.

Rumble’s business offers in-home pet care, from daily visits and play dates to overnight stays. Based in Shelby Township, Rumble said that she and her professional staff offer flexibility for pet owners.

At the farmers market, Rumble said she will have a dog pit stop, as many shoppers bring their dogs. There will be cold drinking water, games and flyers for Rumble’s business. Rumble said she sees it as a way to get her name out into the community.

“My business is pretty much word-of-mouth, and I don’t do a lot of advertising or marketing,” Rumble said. “I don’t think there are a lot of home care pet visits out there right now, so I meet people, talk to them and the word gets passed along.”

A number of special events will be held throughout the year, including a celebration of four different decades. Terrific Twenties will be held on June 23, Totally Thirties on July 28, Fantastic Forties on Aug. 18 and Fabulous Fifties on Sept. 22.

Demo said the goal is to make the farmers market a destination and keep people coming.     
“We want to offer something fun within your own community,” she said. “And we want to remind people to keep their business local, within Michigan and within their community.”

Demo said that between 25 and 30 vendors are expected each weekend, along with anywhere between 200 and 600 shoppers.

Vendors interested in being part of the market can get more information at www.shelbyfarmersmarket.com.