Haymaker Farmers’ Market Celebrates 25th Anniversary
Haymaker Farmers’ Market will celebrate its 25th season with a block party on Friday, Aug. 18, from 6-9 p.m. on Franklin Avenue in Kent, between Erie and College streets.
The community is invited to this family-friendly event to visit with market founders and past and current vendors. Live music will be provided by the Jon Mosey Trio. Green Sprout Gardens will offer a free children's activity from 6-7 p.m. Food will be available for purchase from the Square Scullery Food Truck, Roll Call Burgers & Fries, the Seasonal Supper Club and Popsmith Popsicles, with some ingredients being supplied by market vendors. In addition, Kent’s Madcap Brew Co. will set up a beer tent.
Haymaker Farmers’ Market is Portage County’s oldest producer-only farmers’ market, and is open year-round on Saturdays. Market co-founders Fritz Seefeldt, Joanne Jones, Rick Hawksley and Joan Inderhees are pleased to see how the market has continued to grow while still adhering to the vision they had 25 years ago.
“We wanted to create a farmers' market that would serve the community by bringing fresh, high-quality, locally grown produce and baked products to Kent, as well as to help preserve existing agriculture in the surrounding county and encourage growth in small farms,” Seefeldt says. “We also wanted to provide a central community gathering place in the city of Kent on Saturday mornings, including by creating a venue for local artists and musicians.”
Hawksley recalls the first day of the market 25 years ago, when only one vendor, Dan Kamburoff, who was an at-large councilman at the time, showed up. He promptly sold everything he brought and sent back to his farm to bring more.
“At the time, I think that there wasn’t a farmers’ market anywhere else in the Akron, Kent and Cleveland area,” Inderhees recalls.
“The fact that the market was started and run by volunteers for all those years is incredible in itself, but to see how much it has grown over the course of the last 25 years is astounding," says Market Board President Lizette Royer.
Royer notes that this year’s outdoor market includes 43 vendors.
Market Manager J. Andrew Rome adds that the market has also expanded as producers have found a niche in many of Kent’s local businesses.
“Customers can now find products from the market in downtown shops and restaurants all week long,” Rome says.
Haymaker Farmers’ Market is open on Franklin Avenue under the Haymaker bridge every Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through October, then moves to the United Methodist Church of Kent on Route 59 from November through April. Locally grown organic and conventional fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, eggs, honey, maple syrup, plants, baked goods, coffee, snacks, prepared food and more are available year-round.
For more information, visit www.haymakermarket.com.