One of the summer highlights in Marshall was having visitors experiencing the inaugural farmers’ market. With the advertising market manager Scott Michalak did at Whistle Stop Campground, he even had travelers from Tennessee and Kentucky coming just for the cheese curds or beef sticks sold at the market. Or they would buy healthy produce to eat while travelling.
Due to the success of the market held from 8 a.m. to noon Sundays at Fireman’s Park, it will be extended to Sept. 29, featuring some typical fall products such as fresh apples and gourds. The market manager said 27 vendors have signed up with 25 of them participating in at least one summer market day.
Michalak said each Sunday, the market has about 300 to 400 shoppers and 12 to 13 vendors.
“From that perspective, I have been really pleased,” he said. “We will grow.”
The vendors came Marshall, Waterloo, Medina, Deerfield, Cambridge, Sun Prairie, Madison and Randolph.
Michalak said community organizations also took advantage of the market and sold fundraising items to attendees.
The Marshall Farmers’ Market is Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) Senior certified as recipients of both of these programs will have access to healthy food.
Room to grow
Michalak is already thinking of how to grow the market for next year. He would like to see at least 100 more shoppers at each event a year and more hot foods sold. The market manager has a lead on a person who makes eggrolls. He also would like to sell hot eggs, sausage or pancakes, which would come from the local produce.
“I also would like to see someone partner with a coffee shop,” Michalak said.
He noted the Sun Prairie Home Talent Baseball team will be using Fireman’s Park at 10 a.m. for their home games next year, so that should help boost the market.
Michalak said it is fun having a few craft vendors, but he would like to just limit it to a few as people may not support the craft vendors if they are looking for food.
Instead, the manager would like to see a winter craft fair at the high school.
“We got to keep the vendors and the shoppers happy,” he said.
“I like to think outside the box,” Michalak said. “I have a lot of ideas going in my head.”