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Rochester Farmers Market has a ‘sweet’ end to its season

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published October 27, 2015


ROCHESTER — The conclusion of the Downtown Rochester Farmers Market season is upon us, but don’t fret.

Princesses, superheroes and costumed children of all sorts will delight in trick-or-treating at the last day of the market 10 a.m.-noon Oct. 31, at the corner of East Third and Water Street, while Mom and Dad stock up on a variety of fall fare.

“There will be everything you can think of for fall — pumpkins, gourds, squash, apples, pies, doughnuts and cider, maple syrup, and other specialty foods,” said Nancy Voges, marketing coordinator for the Rochester Downtown Development Authority.

Kids who visit the Downtown Rochester Farmers Market on its final day of the season will receive a free goodie bag from the Rochester Downtown Development Authority and special treats from vendors.

The market runs 26 weeks — from the first Saturday in May to the last Saturday in October — each year. Patrons can enjoy a wide variety of Michigan-grown or Michigan-made products at the market — including vegetables, fruits, container gardens, fresh cut flowers, herbs, homemade baked goods, gnocchi, jams and jellies, honey, maple syrup, and locally roasted coffee, as well as various certified organic products, including eggs, beef and chicken. The market also features specialty food products, such as seasoned meat rubs, baked goods, sauces and salsas.

Voges said the 16th market season went great this year.

“I haven’t surveyed the vendors yet, but from what I have been hearing, they felt that the market traffic was very, very good and that the season went well,” she said. “We’ve had good weather, and I think there has been a good crop this season, so there has been a lot of activity at the market.”

But Halloween won’t be the last time that marketgoers will see some vendors, Voges said.

A number of market vendors will return to downtown Rochester in December as vendors in the Kris Kringle Market.

The eighth annual Kris Kringle Market’s, which Voges called the Farmers Markets’ holiday alter-ego, will run Friday, Dec. 4, and Saturday, Dec. 5. The open-air Christmas market features hand-crafted gifts, specialty foods, holiday greens and live entertainment.

“It’s what we consider our winter market. It’s a little bit different, although we do have many of our seasonal Farmers Market vendors participating,” Voges explained.

The Cheese Lady, which has offered a variety of imported and Michigan-made cheeses, jellies, jams and crackers at this year’s Farmers Market, is one such vendor that will return for the Kris Kringle Market.

Lynn Kaiser, who co-owns The Cheese Lady with Kimberly Judd, said this was their first year participating in the Downtown Rochester Farmers Market, which she said went so well that the duo has decided to open a permanent location for their business at 302 W. University St. in Rochester this winter.

“We wanted to do a test run to see what the response in Rochester would be, and it was fantastic. We’ve had a blast. We’ve met so many wonderful people,” Kaiser said of the market.

The Cheese Lady will bring about 20-22 varieties of cheese — along with jams, jellies and crackers — to the last day of the Farmers Market, and Kaiser said they will offer gift baskets, boxes and platters for the holidays at the Kris Kringle Market.

For more information about either market, visit or call (248) 656-0060.