Live wire // Brighton Farmers Market
An original series that explores the people and products of our region’s farmers markets
Editor’s note: Live wire is an original web series (words, photo, and video) produced by (585)’s summer 2014 interns. It explores the people and products of our region’s farmers markets.
The Brighton Farmers Market is crowded with shoppers toting various items: kids, groceries, and occasionally, dogs. Dozens of vendor tents line the parking lot and live music mixes with chatter in the humid air.
Cecilia Marini, one of four employees, represents Ellie’s Gluten Free Bakery of Fairport. The bakery not only makes gluten free cupcakes, muffins, and cookies, but all of their products are dairy-free and soy-free as well. The majority of Ellie’s customers are those who have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant and are looking for great tasting, gluten-free food, Marini says.
Ellie’s large variety of baked goods meet their gluten-free requirement by using tapioca flour and potato starch in place of wheat flour. “I think the biggest thing is just learning your product,” Marini says. “And learning the ways to adapt to it and make adjustments to it.”
As Sophie and I make our way to the other side of the parking lot, we encounter two young women at a stand with “Small World” chalked across a hanging sign. The stand has several loaves of handmade bread cased in glass, accompanied by mason jars filled with granola and preserved veggies.
Located on 90 Canal Street in Rochester, Small World Food specializes in whole grain bread, granolas, sweets, and fermented vegetables, all of which are brought together through their connections with area farms. “We source all of our ingredients from local farmers (who) use organic and sustainable practices,” says co-owner Allie Push. Small World’s wheat is grown in New York State and certified organic.
Push credits creative persistence for the cooperative’s success since its founding in 2007. “One of our partners is just really excellent at keeping up these connections and finding people,” says Push. “Once you’re in the community, you kind of realize how small it is and how easy it is to find the right people.”
After Sophie and I finally decide which of the several food trucks in the parking lot to eat from, we seek a grassy picnic spot away from the crowd. We eventually leave our mini-safe haven in search of dessert, and find ourselves in front of two tricycles filled with homemade, organic ice cream.
Eat Me Ice Cream, founded by Amber Odhner and Catelyn Augustine, offers their handmade ice cream in pints, cookie sandwiches, pops, and ice candy. They ride their tricycles, complete with coolers and ready-to-go ice cream, downtown and to close-by farmers markets. Each week they offer a new flavor designed to reflect the season and anything happening in the area. “This week we have “Spring Garden,”” Odhner says, “which is asparagus, chive, rhubarb and a black pepper shortbread cookie.” Their creative juices are always flowing, Odhner jokes, and Augustine adds there’s nothing difficult about making ice cream.
The Brighton Farmers Market is home to many more local treats and goodies, suited for anyone’s taste and needs.
Story + video by Georgie Silvarole; photos + captions by Sophie Stewart