On Saturday May 26, eager shoppers turned out for the opening of the Lansdowne Farmers Market.
The centerpiece of Lansdowne’s recent revitalization, the bustling boutique market is a showcase of how the community has embraced development.
Every Saturday from May 26 to Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the market brings fresh, local food to Lansdowne while fostering economic development in the borough. Area farmer Mike Nelson, of Fruitwood Orchards Honey Farm, has been a vendor at the market since its inception five years ago.
“This is my number one market,” Nelson said. “The people are great and I think they look forward to what we have. I only sell what I grow.”
With a 15-foot box truck full of fruits and vegetables Nelson is “always looking to add something to the table for our customers.”
Youth participants of the Lansdowne Community Youth Garden work with Nelson in addition to selling products that they grow.
Free of charge for all participants, the eight-week summer program produced by the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation educates students about nutrition, food systems, gardening/farming and entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneur sisters and Boothwyn residents, Ashley and Toni Darden, manned their cupcake stand for those wanting to indulge in the flavorful treats. As they waited on the steady stream of customers, Ashley explained the she enjoys “being at this market because it’s well organized and the people are great to work with.”
Owned by their sister, Jennifer Morris, and brother-in-law, Robert Morris, Cupcakeology’s stand was busy with customers buying flavors like Pina Colada, Maple and Bacon, French Toast, Peanut Butter Cup, Modern and Classic Chocolate. “Sorry, we ran out of it,” Toni informed a customer wanting a lemon drop cupcake.
Chocolate cherry cupcake lover, Barbara McCann, is a big fan.
“We run and get what’s left over before the market closes. Sometimes they discount them,” said McCann, a Lansdowne resident that volunteers as a traffic control officer during the market. McCann’s daughter, Sarah, works with Mike Nelson’s Fruitwood Orchards Honey Farm stand at the market, a part of the Lansdowne Community Youth Garden program.
Organized, and largely run by a committee of about ten volunteers, supervised by the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation, the Lansdowne Farmers Market aims to provide a broad shopping experience while engaging with area residents, groups, and interests.
“The market provides our community with a gathering place,” said Jennifer Hoff, vice president of the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation and 15-year Lansdowne resident.
In 2010, the Lansdowne Farmers Market was ranked the second highest vote getter in the boutique market category of America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest, as well as the second most popular farmers market in Pennsylvania. Ensuring the market’s popularity is the availability of vouchers for seniors and WIC participants.
“I am excited about the positive buzz in the central business district that has been created by our weekly Farmers Market,” said Danielle Redden, executive director at Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation. “Lansdowne is really a gem of a place, a welcoming and vibrant community.”