By Carolyn Marnon – The Wayne Farmers Market season kicks off on Wednesday, May 4, with a Cinco de Mayo theme, kid’s activities and music. A new face you will see at the market is that of Jean Smith, the new Market Manager.
Jean is a mother of six and a full-time student finishing her business degree. She is also the Market Manager for the Sterling Heights Dodge Park Farmers Market. She recently left her farm, where she was an organic farmer for over 15 years. Her family used to sell at the local farmers market. She writes on farmers markets and organic-related gardening topics and is soon to return to being a garden blogger for The Detroit News, The Good Life. She’s been a speaker at Michigan Farmers Market Association and has had several articles published in magazines, including Farmers Market Today.
“I am a Certified Market Manager and also currently manage The Dodge Park farmers market in Sterling Heights,” said Jean. “I started the Winter Farmers Market in downtown Farmington eight years ago. I have also been a vendor for over ten years. As a vendor, I feel this gives me an upper hand with understanding what vendors need and what makes a market successful.
“Coming in as a new Market Manager of an existing market always poses some challenges. When I was hired, I explained I’d love to be able to give the market a new face by redoing the market footprint, incorporating several fun events, and a kids corner. I feel that the market is an experience that the community can benefit from and vice versa. My goal is make the Wayne Farmers Market a destination that families look forward to attending every week!”
Jeans says they will have 15-19 vendors at the market every week with room to grow. There will be a great variety of vendors from fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, personal care products, baked good, coffee and tea, jewelry, lemonade, donuts, breads, chips and salsa, great food concessions and more. There will be a Market Basket each week where vendors donate an item into the basket. Market goers fill out a ticket with their name and phone number. A name will be drawn at 6:30 and then the winner gets all the contents of the basket. They do not need to be present to win.
A vendor table is only $20 per market day. There is a discount for vendors who prepay for the season. Vendors are responsible for their own tent, table, table décor and chairs. There is space allotted for local businesses and non-profits free of charge unless they are selling something.
There will be live entertainment weekly. The third Wednesday of the month will be an open mic night emceed by a local musician. Jean says the City will be having their concerts in the park during the month of August as well.
Special events planned include Safety Day (May 18), Ice Cream Social (June 15), Auto History Day (June 29), Kids Game Day (July 20), Health Fair Day (August 17), Pet Parade (September 21), Pie Contest (October 19) and Trick or Treat Day-Kids Costume Contest (October 26). All events are put on by the Wayne Chamber of Commerce.
To find out what’s going on at the market, you can check out the Facebook page: https://www.facebook-.com/waynefarmersmarket/.
If you are interested in finding out more on becoming a vendor, contact Jean at towfmmanager@-gmail.com or call (248) 872-5734.
There will also be a crafter/artisan orientation at Helium Studio on May 24 at 6:00 p.m. where Jean will give a presentation on becoming a vendor and what is expected.