Vendors prep for Woodstock winter market
While the Woodstock Farmers Market on the Square winds down this week, preparations for this year’s winter market are already underway.
Keith Johnson, market manager, said a total of 22 vendors will set up shop at the McHenry County Farm Bureau building, 1102 McConnell Road, from 9 a.m. to noon various Saturdays throughout winter, including the first three Saturdays in November and the first four Saturdays in December. The market will extend into 2013, with market days the first Saturdays in January, February, March and April.
Janet Viverito, who runs the Roedger Bros. Blueberries booth at the Woodstock Farmers Market, said Woodstock has embraced the Michigan-based business in its first year. The reception the business has received led to it taking part in the winter markets.
“We had such a warm reception here in Woodstock … People come out rain or shine or in cold weather,” she said. “I think the winter market is a great idea.”
For Roedger Bros. Blueberries, the winter market is a perfect fit. The company flash freezes the first blueberry pick of the season, the pick with the most plump blueberries. The remaining picks are sold to other companies but never receive the Roedger Bros. Blueberry name.
Roedger Bros. Blueberries participates in two winter markets already, one in Logan Square and another in Geneva. While business is never as good as the summer markets, Viverito said the winter markets accomplish something more than a few sales.
“It keeps people in the habit of coming to the market,” Viverito said. “It’s a place to sell a great product and a place for customers to continue to support local farmers …. Otherwise they may forget.”
Dan Kreusch, market manager for Sunny Hill Honey, said his company was invited into the market after previous honey vendors dropped out. Kreusch said the company has 1,450 hives located throughout 45 farms in the region. Because the honey is jarred and available for use year-round, the winter market provides ample opportunity to continue selling.
“To have the opportunity to gather with local producers [in the winter] is great,” Kreusch said. “It’s nowhere near the business [the outdoor market] is, but it’s nice not to have to drudge the tent and everything out.”
He said the winter market, which has only been held two years, is relatively new. As the winter market gains exposure and people become more accustomed to it, Kreusch said he hopes attendance will increase.
“If you like the local flowers and trees, you’ve got to support the bees,” he said with a laugh.
In addition to honey and blueberries, products sold at the winter market include jams, produce, meats, fiber, popcorn, salsa, cheese, flowers, plants, baked goods, cookies, soap, pies, granola, peanut butter and dog treats.