The Downtown Rochester Farmers Market will open May 6.

The Downtown Rochester Farmers Market will open May 6.

Photo provided by the Rochester DDA

Rochester to get farm fresh for the spring, summer

Downtown Rochester Farmers Market to open May 6

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published April 26, 2023


ROCHESTER — The best of southeast Michigan’s growing season is returning to downtown Rochester.

Now in its 24th season, the Downtown Rochester Farmers Market will open May 6 at the corner of East Third and Water streets, just one block east of Main Street.

The outdoor market will continue 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 28.

Taylor Knuth, marketing coordinator for the Rochester Downtown Development Authority, said the market is a staple in the Rochester area.

“We are very excited to kick off the season and to be able to enjoy Saturdays at the market with the community,” she said.

Patrons can enjoy a wide variety of Michigan-grown or Michigan-made products at the market — including vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs, homemade baked goods, gnocchi, jams and jellies, honey, maple syrup, tea blends, and locally roasted coffee, and various certified organic products, including eggs, beef and chicken.

“Visiting the market on a Saturday is a great weekend activity, a great way to connect with local businesses, and it’s a great gathering place for friends and neighbors of the community to discover something new,” Knuth added.

Kim Simmons, of The Feminine Farmer, said she decided to give the Downtown Rochester Farmers Market a try for the first time this year upon the recommendation of vendors from the Clarkston and Birmingham markets.

Simmons and her husband, Craig, bought their 20-acre farm in Goodrich in 1997 to provide fresh, local, organically raised produce and flowers, and freeze-dried candy, vegetables and fruit. The couple plants organic and heirloom non-GMO seeds in organic soil to grow seedlings and uses certified organic compost to feed their plants. Simmons said no chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers are used on the farm.

“For opening day, we will have tulip bouquets, a lot of greens — lettuce mixes, arugula, kale, cilantro, dill — and some freeze-dried vegetables,” Simmons said. “Later in the season, we will have heirloom tomatoes, carrots, beets, potatoes, beans, sweet corn, summer squash and a lot of different varieties of flowers.”

Ashley Kruszyna, of Mimidae Beverage Co., appeared a few times at the market last year, deciding to make her nonalcoholic craft cocktail mixers, shrubs and syrup products available throughout the entire market season this time around.

Kruszyna worked in the restaurant industry for over 17 years, more recently finding a need for sophisticated, nonalcoholic beverages after opting to go alcohol free.

“When I decided to quit drinking myself, I was really missing the experience of having a craft cocktail in a nice glass with a nice garnish, so I started coming up with my own pseudo cocktail recipes,” she said. “My shrubs are made with all organic fruit and apple cider vinegar, and it’s a combination of the sweetness of the fruit and the acidity from the vinegar that makes this amazing, complex cocktail. … We don’t use any artificial sweeteners, colors or preservatives, so it is a healthier alternative to juice or pop or some of those cocktail mixers out there with high fructose corn syrup and other weird colorings in them.”

The nonalcoholic beverage industry is booming, Kruszyna said, because more people are choosing to skip the booze without missing out on the social experience.

“The motto of the business is inclusivity — so kids like these, adults like these, drinkers, nondrinkers — everybody deserves a fancy, delicious little beverage,” she said.

As always, the DDA is expecting a great turnout at the market this year — especially for the opening May 6.

“We average about 2,000 customers a Saturday. We’ve seen a really positive uptick in recent years … so we are seeing a really good, dedicated following,” Knuth added.

This year’s opening day festivities will include: free tote bags with special offers from downtown merchants and farmers market vendors for the first 500 adult customers, a giveaway for the kids, live music 10 a.m.-noon, free children’s bike helmets provided by Ascension Providence and a chance to win gift certificates donated by downtown Rochester businesses. Kids can also participate in a weekly scavenger hunt for Pete the Pineapple to win a prize.

The Downtown Rochester Farmers Market is presented by Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital.

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