Thursday, September 18, 2014

Webb City Sentinel market column 9-19-14

I admit it, sometimes it feels like I’m repeating myself. Every week I tell you how wonderful the market is, and sometimes I tell you about our wonderful vendors and customers. But the truth is the truth, so here I go again.

We welcome back a couple of vendors who have been gone for a while from the market. Today and tomorrow Cottage Vanilla (aka Rosemary McCulley) is back at the market. She took a month off while it was so hot. She figured no one in their right mind was baking!  But with the cooler weather her customers are eager to get back to baking and even thinking of their holiday baking and of holiday gifts. Rosemary’s vanilla makes a lovely stocking stuffer. 

The other vendor is Red Lab Farm. Justin Mason and his wife Ashley will be back at the market tomorrow with his French style pastries. Their absence was caused by a serious house fire. Their home will take six months to repair and all their baking equipment was lost, but their real loss was the namesake of their farm, their red lab named Mister Maximoose A Million Fourpaw-Mason (known to his friends and customers as “Moose, CEO of Red Lab Farm”), along with his companions King Charles Spaniels Stew and Olivia. We are so glad Justin and Ashley will be back at their stand. We hope they’re ready for lots of hugs. Tomorrow they’re bringing Croissants - Sourdough, Ham & Cheese and Chocolate.

These vendors are among the reasons that our market is special.

Even our honey bears are happy!
And we think we have some pretty special customers too, for their loyalty, their kind words and their support. Recently a customer made a donation to the market in memory of the late Tom Clark who loved bluegrass music. We’ll think of Tom tomorrow as we listen to Sonny Lau Certified Bluegrass.

We also received a donation to the children’s garden in memory of Ida Gilmore, a long time gardener who lived to be 102. With over 250 children involved in the garden this year, that gift has been very helpful.

And our scarecrows are happy!
The market also has received gifts to its food stamp matching program. Each of the first four food stamp customers who buys food stamp tokens on Tuesdays get an additional $5 in tokens. This increases the amount of fresh produce our low income customers can buy. Yes, we’re starting small – the City Market in Kansas City has a matching program of over $65,000 a year - but it’s a beginning for us.

The program is funded in two ways. The first is through That is Amazon’s charity program. If you buy through the smile site, which has the same prices and products as the regular Amazon web site, 5% of your purchase price goes to the charity of your choice. While the market isn’t asking anyone to buy on-line, if you do, we hope you will choose to use the smile site and designate the market. 

The other food stamp funding source was a surprise. My daughter Emily listed the program on her wedding registry and folks are making donations in honor of her upcoming marriage on October 25. She doesn’t need another toaster, instead she and her fiancé, Kit, are happy to know they and their friends and family are helping local low income folks put fresher, better food on their tables.
It’s true. The market is a feel good place but it’s not just because we have good produce and products. It’s also because we have good people - customers, vendors and volunteers - good music and good causes. And we have some very happy scarecrows this fall because Suzette has joined the family. Bring your camera or use your phone to take a photo with Sammy, Suzie and their little addition.  They’ll be at the central entrance.

Today we’ll be feeling extra good because the Granny Chicks are playing!  Accordions and foot tapping are in our future. M & M Bistro will serve pita wraps with chicken or beef and lamb. Hillside will be at the market with their elephant garlic. We’ll have freshly roasted coffee beans by Cottage Small Coffee Roasters (those of you who graduated from Webb City High School may know them as Josh and Genevieve Moore). Friday is when Madewell Pork is at the market. Fanning Egg Farm and Endless Bounty energy bars come on Tuesday and Friday.

Today and tomorrow we expect lots of mums and fall decorations. We’ll have even more on Saturday. Sunny Lane Farm is at the market on Saturdays with beef, lamb, and chicken. Redings Mill Bread Company comes both Friday and Saturday as does Amos Apiaries. Harmony Hill comes to every market with country style baked goods. Of course, we have loads of produce at every market as well.
Today the Independent Living Center will be at the market to talk to customers about food stamps, helping them sign up for the program if they are eligible.

Tomorrow Cooking for a Cause benefits one of our Webb City Girl Scout troops. They’ll be serving from 9 to 11. As mentioned earlier, Sonny Lau Certified Bluegrass plays.

Tuesday Rob Pommert plays and Carmine’s Wood Fire Pizza bakes to order.

Next Friday is our last Friday of the year. In October we go to Tuesday from 4 to 6 and Saturday from 9 to noon.

The seasons, they are a-changing but the market is welcoming no matter what the season. See you at the market!