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Posted: March 28, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Farmers’ market coming to Snellville this summer

A Saturday morning farmers’ market is coming to Snellville, beginning in June.

Throughout the cold weeks of winter, a group of 10 dedicated volunteers, including two Snellville City Council members, has been meeting regularly to focus on spring and fresh-from-the-farm produce.  The group has been making plans for a Saturday morning farmers’ market, scheduled to begin June 5.  The market will be held weekly from 8 a.m. to noon on the grounds at Snellville City Hall at 2342 Oak Road.

“We have a wonderful group of very enthusiastic volunteers,” said Barbara Bender, a member of the council who serves as mayor pro-tem and has acted as the committee’s liaison with other city officials and city staff members.  “They have been doing a lot of research, talking to people who run the farmers’ markets in other cities, and writing very comprehensive policies to ensure a great market.”  

Farmers’ markets are one of the most exciting trends in America’s food-delivery system.  The markets are important because they provide local farmers with an outlet to sell food they raise directly to customers.  And they allow consumers to buy fresh food, usually harvested within the last 24 hours.

“Snellville needs this type of fun-for-all, family-centered event on a regular basis,” said Tom Witts, a council member who has been working closely with the committee and making calls to potential vendors.  In the recruitment calls he has made, Witts has emphasized the outstanding location the Snellville market will have.  “We will be right on Highway 78 where we will have great visibility,” Witts said, noting that an average of 40,000 vehicles pass city hall each day.

The market will focus on fresh produce, but the committee is also courting vendors who sell meats, eggs, cheese, artisan breads and other baked goods, jams and jellies, honey and fresh flowers.  A limited number of craft vendors will be approved to participate in the market, with a focus on crafts handcrafted from natural ingredients, such as soaps and lotions.  Booths are priced at $10 per week or $175 for the 22-week season, which will go through October.  Local non-profit civic, church and school groups may be approved to participate at no cost, but will not be allowed to sell any products that compete with the paying vendors.

“We still have some available spaces for vendors,” said Witts.  “I hope they will seriously consider our market because our goal is to make this a premier market.  The market will be the go-to destination market.”

Interested vendors may call Marilyn Swinney at (770) 736-8332 or Marcy Pharris at (770) 978-1093 for an application to participate in the market.

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