Eastlake set to host new farmers market this spring, summer

Eastlake, for the first time in several years, will be holding a weekly farmers market at the Vineyards Plaza on Vine Street, beginning May 15.

The farmers market is expected to be open Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. until Sept. 25. Currently, a dozen vendors are lined up to display locally-grown food and other products. The market will also feature various food trucks to offer hot meals.

According to Judy Moran, administrative assistant in the mayor’s office, there is currently room for more vendors to participate. Some of those already signed on are local businesses.

“We have the Black Walnut Bakery, (who) is an Eastlake gentleman,” Moran said, “… I have a couple of Clevelanders, I have the Pierogi Pantry and I’m going to have a lemonade and kettle corn stand. Then we have the Carhop burger truck and the Hunger Squad truck, alternating Wednesdays for food.”

Moran, who developed the idea for the farmers market, added that there will also be smoothies available once a month and various types of giveaways.

“We plan on having some freebie days, such as market tote bags and Eastlake branding items,” she stated in an email.

She mentioned that the ultimate goal of the market is to bring more visibility to the Vineyards Plaza.

“You never know, if somebody does really well at our market, they may need a storefront,” Moran said. “And what better place to have it?”

Mayor Dennis Morley reaffirmed the goal of increasing business presence at Vineyards and also commented that he hopes to see the farmers market take off.

“We’re hoping it grows and hoping it does well there,” Morley said.

He added that there haven’t been farmers markets in Eastlake for several years.

“We had them in the past,” Morley said. “We tried doing them on Saturdays (which, he added, was the same day as Willoughby’s farmers market). It hasn’t happened for eight or nine years — it just never actually took off.

“The one that we had before was more of a flea market than anything vendor-wise. So this time, we’re trying to make it more ‘food and product’.”

Morley and Moran highlighted that community members leaving work could help bring in foot traffic, as people may stop by and explore the market.

“It’s kind of patterned after the one in Painesville because Barb (Monacelli, administrative assistant for economic development events in Painesville) does such a great job over there,” Moran said. “So I consulted her and we did a little brainstorming. I got some vendors together who were very kind to give us a try on our first year.”

With 2019 being the first year for the farmers’ market, Moran also mentioned some of her hopes for it.

“(The goal is) that it’s successful and all the work that the vendors put into it is rewarded,” she said. “I want people to come out and shop local; shop small business.”

So far, vendors for Eastlake’s farmers market include:

Elizabeth Vilkas Design
Peanut Butter mill
Black Walnut Bakery
Amish Fry Pies
Spoiled Dog Boss
Pierogi Pantry
Bob’s Sharpening and Grinding
Lucy’s Sweet Surrender
Pap’s Kettle Corn
Cleveland Pickle

Vendor applications are still open and can be found at city hall or by calling Moran at 440-951-2200.

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