Every farmers market is unique. They all have different people, regions, locations, products, and that is what makes it fun to visit and shop at farmers markets. What sets the Brattleboro Indoor Farmers Market apart? We spoke with Sherry Maher, manager of Brattleboro Winter Farmers Market, to find out what makes their market special.
Where are you located?
After 12 years in the River Garden in the heart of Brattleboro, we are located in the C.F. Church building, a former manufacturing building at 80 Flat St, just past the parking garage. The new space is much larger than our previous space and includes on-site parking.
What is the market schedule?
Every Saturday, Nov - March, 10:00am - 2:00pm
How does the winter market differ from the outdoor market?
The Brattleboro Winter Farmers Market is a project of Post Oil Solutions, and thus is a separate operation from the member-based Brattleboro area farmers market. That said, there are many vendors who participate in both, and we are more concerned that locals and visitors to the area know where to find a farmers market May - March, rather than whose market is it. As a grassroots sustainability group, we started the market to give local farmers an outlet for all the fresh produce that was left at the end of the summer market season. Our success encouraged more and more local farmers to plan and plant for this direct market outlet through the winter months.
What is the atmosphere like?
It is a warm, welcoming community feel in our market where locals start their weekly shopping while catching up with friends, and visitors get a taste of life in the greater Brattleboro area.
How many vendors do you have?
While we usually have about 40 or so vendors on our roster, we typically have between 25-30 vendors at the market on any given week. Some vendors only participate in half of the season, while others fill in occasionally.
Do you ever have special events? If so, what kind?
We have music every week, and now in our new space we even have a kid's room with space and playthings, and a beautiful colorful dragon on the wall painted by an area artist.
Which vendor has participated the longest at the market?
Four current vendors were there when we opened the market 13 years ago - Dwight Miller & Son Orchards, Susan Dunning Pottery Works, and Bigan Fard with One World Soaps. Also, Emily Amanna, currently of Wild Shepherd Farm, was there with her previous herbal business.
Who's new this year and what do they carry?
New to us this year are 2 dairy farms - Livewater Dairy from Westminster, and Jersey Girls from Chester. While both bring cheese, eggs, and meats, Jersey Girls also brings farm fresh and pasteurized milk, while Livewater also has beautiful hand-knit hats. Also Rockingham Roasters is a new vendor this year.
What is your favorite part of the market?
My favorite part is watching it all come together each week as vendors prepare for their customers to start arriving. With the move to our new location this year, we have seen so many astonished faces as customers enter and see how wonderful this new space is. The on-site parking has made it much more accessible for people with mobility challenges, and roomier customer aisles even allow parents with a stroller to maneuver through the market.