The Downtown Downers Grove Market attracted a plethora of vendors Aug. 26 with farmers from Elwood to Bensenville that offer a selection of produce from sweet corn to raspberries.
The weekly event is to return from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2 and run through Oct. 21 at the Downers Grove Main Street Train Station south parking lot, right off Burlington Avenue.
“I think people have come to know that when they come to this market, they’re going to get vendors that [offer] mostly homemade stuff and they’re going to get farmers that are really committed to their product, and they bring out really good stuff,” said Annivar Salgado, the event’s market manager.
On average, the market features 72 vendors that aim to sell fresh produce or other items.
“It our bread and butter, the farmers,” Salgado said.
The market typically brings in 2,000 customers each week.
Kris Colella, of Downers Grove, said she drops in for the market every week to complete her shopping.
“I come for the fruits and the vegetables,” she said. “The vegetables are wonderful, and the fruit is delicious.”
Colella said she likes knowing that her food comes straight from the market.
“You have to grocery shop, so you might as well shop here,” she said. “It’s so much nicer than going inside a store and [having] everything packaged. Here, it’s open, and you can pick what you want. You can take one [or] you can take three.”
Event organizers completed a survey last year that showed close to 90 percent of patrons who shared their thoughts were satisfied with the prices, as well as the number and variety of vendors.
Salgado, noting the market has some hidden gems that patrons tend to enjoy, said they have several of them.
“We have probably the best scones anywhere, right here—Scone City,” he said. “We also have a women down at the end. [Her business] is called Taste Like Love, and she does a warm quiche and a variety of other things. What’s cool about her is that whatever is leftover at the end of the market—whether it’s two [of] a product or a 100 of a product—she takes it to a women’s shelter, and donates it all to a women’s shelter for battered women. We have a guy who strictly does berries, and he’s really kind of a gem of the market, as well. We have two kind of fresh meat and fish produce people here.”
Salgado said he thinks patrons love the market and the experience they get, and they tend to come back event after event.
“This is my second year managing the market, and I can tell you that 60 to 70 percent of the people that are here today are here every single week,” he said. “We have regulars. The market opens at 7 [a.m.]. We have people here at 6:30 [a.m.] because they want to get their melons or their tomatoes or their peppers for their omelets in the morning. They’re very loyal. The customers here are very, very loyal.”