Live wire // Penfield 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.
Although it’s less than a year old and still fairly small, the level of personality shoppers will find at the Penfield Farmers Market (located in the Grossmans Garden & Home parking lot) on a Sunday is unmatched anywhere else.
Market Manager Rebecca Ward played a key role in organizing the market’s vendors and getting the community together for the market’s September 2013 debut. “We’re pretty new on the Rochester market scene,” Ward says. Penfield’s local market opened earlier than most markets, the first weekend of May, to get their season rolling. She credits the “hard-core vendors” for sticking with the market from the beginning, and says the community market is doing well for being less than a year old.
“We’re starting to get more vendors and more food trucks,” Ward says. “We’re adding more farmers, and we’re getting larger all the time.”
Smoothies Plus, one of those food trucks, is owned by Brad and Jessica Quigley and run as completely family business. Jessica credits the idea for a mobile smoothie business to her husband’s time spent in Atlanta, where he noticed the abundance of refreshing drinks was absent in upstate New York. Their food truck specializes in healthy snacks and can be found at nearby sports tournaments, farmers markets, and catered events.
While their parents talk about the business, six-year-old Meghan giggles through a window in the truck and eight-year-old son Ryan speaks with a customer, vigorously recommending the “mango tango.”
“We lose most of our profit on our kids,” Jessica laughs, adding the kids go with them whenever they can, as long as the event isn’t going to be too busy. The kids are learning quickly the importance and benefits of hard work and dedication.
Cynthia Evans, owner of Tea-Licious Trendz, is another “hard-core” vendor of the Penfield Farmer’s Market. Her organic tea and herbal blends are not only refreshing in taste, but also in mind.
“My organic tea is purchased fair trade,” Evans says, “which is extremely important to me.” She also says natural flavor is a priority to her customers, and small, fresh batches of the imported herbs, plants, and spices are key to her tea blends, which include varieties like French Raspberry: derived from red raspberry leaves, hibiscus, orange peel, and lemongrass.
Several other vendors selling handmade crafts, baked goods, and honey, add to the local personality and effort to keep shoppers close to home. “This is why we’re here,” Ward says. “To keep people healthy and [provide] better lifestyles for the community.”
To see more photos from the market, visit our Facebook album.
Story + video by Georgie Silvarole; photos + captions by Sophie Stewart