Outdoor Season Begins May 7
Haymaker Farmers’ Market returns to their outdoor location on Franklin Avenue, between Main and Summit, under the Haymaker overpass on Saturday, May 7 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.
Andrew Rome Hired as New Market Manager
Kent’s Haymaker Farmers’ Market has hired J. Andrew Rome to manage the market’s 24th season. Rome follows Kelly Ferry, the market’s first paid manager, who will resign in May in order to focus her attention on her lifelong dream of owning her own locally-sourced food business.
Mentor native Rome and his family moved to the Kent area in 2008, and says that the Haymaker Farmer’s Market was one of the first communities where he met people, learned about local events and music, and shopped for food. “The market has been a primary food source for my family and I’ve been thrilled to see it grow and be available year-round,” says Rome. “My kids know where we’re going every Saturday morning, and they’re excited to come.”
One of Rome’s goals as market manager is to help everyone have the same great experience at the market that he has had. “I love to see how full of life the market is on a Saturday morning, with friends greeting each other and everyone helping to sustain a healthy lifestyle, a healthy community, and a healthy planet,” says Rome.
Haymaker Farmers’ Market is an important to Kent’s downtown business, according to Rome. “People can keep their grocery dollars local to support great area businesses,” says Rome, who adds that the connections between customers and vendors as well as among vendors and local storefronts help support a vibrant downtown economy and promote Kent’s art and music scene.
Board President Lizette Royer Barton is pleased with Rome’s energy, ideas, and dedication to the local food movement. “Andrew brings a wealth of skills to the position,” says Royer Barton. “He also has a wonderful attitude, and understands that customers shop at Haymaker for many reasons, including health or environmental reasons, to support local businesses, to connect with the community, and because they know that the products are very fresh and high quality.”
One of Rome’s first projects will be to visit the farms and operations of vendors and create profiles of them to share on the market’s website and Facebook page, and in the market’s weekly email newsletter, so customers can get to know the producers and their products even better.
“I love how the farmers or the bakers or anyone at the market is willing to talk about their products, so shoppers can learn from real experts and then try to cook and garden better at home,” says Rome. “Attending the market has been a real local foods education for me and I know I eat better for it.”
The Haymaker Farmers’ Market is currently open every Saturday from 10 – 1 p.m. at the United Methodist Church of Kent on East Main St. and will return to its outdoor location on Franklin Ave. under the Haymaker Parkway on May 7. The market was founded in 1992 by Fritz Seefeldt. Seefledt served as the volunteer market manager and nurtured its growth from 4 vendors to almost 40 by 2011. The market now operates at capacity with nearly 50 vendors who offer year-round produce, meat, cheese, prepared foods, baked goods, and crafts.
Portage County’s oldest producer’s only farmers’ market offers a wide variety of locally grown and produced item including: fresh fruits; vegetables; herbs; garden starts; perennials; hypertufas; jams and jellies; preserves; grassfed beef, pork, and chicken; pastured eggs; pastured cow, goat, and sheep milk cheeses; honey and honey products; maple syrup and maple products; fresh sauerkraut, baked goods including traditional, vegan and gluten free; fresh handmade pasta; dried handmade pasta; locally roasted coffee and whole beans; gourmet culinary herb blends; frozen vegan veggie filets; kettle corn; handmade soaps, lotions, and body care products; art and more!
Summer Market: Find us in the municipal parking lot at the corner of Franklin Ave. and Summit St., under the Market Mural on the Haymaker Overpass.
Saturdays, May 7, 2016 – October 29, 2016 • 9am to 1pm, rain or shine.
Free live local music 10am to noon weekly, and cooking demonstrations with free samples, recipe cards, and nutrition information provided weekly by The Campus Kitchen at Kent State University.
Winter Market: Find us in Pierson Hall at the rear of United Methodist Church of Kent, 1435 E. Main St., Kent.
Saturdays, November 7, 2015 – April 30, 2016 • 10am – 1pm
Low On Cash?
Visit the market info table – We welcome the Ohio Direction Card as well as credit/debit cards, and offer a monthly $10 Lettuce Loot match for SNAP customers for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Visit the market info table to swipe your card in exchange for market tokens.
Stop by the Campus Kitchen table for free samples and recipe card, and excellent nutrition information!