What's New at the Markets
Although it's hard to think about the Farmers Market today with very cold temperatures and lots of snow being moved around by stiff winds, vendors have made their decisions for Opening Day in Bellevue and downtown Battle Creek.
Festival Market Square opens on Wednesday, May 4th. Hours will remain 9 am to 1 pm.
Bellevue Farmers Market will open on June 2nd. Hours will remain 3 to 6 pm.
2016 Market Season is set to kick-off in downtown Battle Creek on May 4th. The market will run through October. From June 2nd through the end of September, join us at the Bellevue Farmers Market. Market hours in Battle Creek are 9am to 1pm while Bellevue is 3 to 6pm.
Watch our calendar for upcoming events!
It's in the books! Based on the positive comments we heard, customers and vendors enjoyed the ambiance and easier (actually MUCH easier) vendor set up. The light rain early on in the morning was barely noticed since we were all dry! Joel Coburn entertained the crowd with live music and customers enjoyed the comfortable new seating and tables. All in all, we were pleased and there wasn't nearly the chaos I expected. Thank you vendors for arriving early, for being patience and cooperative.
Getting all of our vendors into the spot best fitting their needs will take a few weeks so bear with us, your favorite vendor may be in a different spot next time you're at the market. We will likely be a work in progress most of this season. I guess you could compare it to moving into a new house...you can't know how it's going to function until you live in it awhile. Believe me when I say we are going to enjoy the process though! We are so, so excited to have a new facility!
Our thanks to the City of Battle Creek, the Downtown Battle Creek Partnership and Cereal City Development Corporation for their part in seeing the project to fruition. Projects like this do not happen without great effort. It's an impressive area now and will serve the entire Battle Creek community. The space was planned with flexibility in mind, consequently a variety of activities and events can be accommodated, including concerts.
Even though the "old" Festival Market Square circular drive is gone, and face it folks, while that drive made it possible to park very close to the vendors, it was a bad accident waiting to happen. The close quarters did in fact cause more fender benders than we can count, and the combination of foot and vehicular traffic was unsafe.
If you come to the market via McCamly Avenue plan to enter the parking ramp. On Jackson Avenue use the designated parking spaces. Enter the Riverwalk parking area from Jackson Street. Customer parking in the Riverwalk and Hamlin Avenue ramps is free for the first hour. Just a short walk along McCamly Avenue are the lots at Full Blast and the Rink, where free parking is available. There is no customer parking within Festival Market Square. Please don't use the Kellogg Headquarters parking area, it is not public parking. Need help carrying your purchases? Just ask! Pat at the Market Master's table will be glad to assist with finding a strong body to help you right out.
New vendors on Saturday included The Cheese People, Ben's Soft Pretzels and Forever Blooms. Returning vendors included Farmers on the Move, Pleasant Hill Farm, The Bakewell Company, Eicher Family Bakery, Hoover Farms, Maple Men Farms, Louie's Donut Shop, Verdant Grace, Avalon Farms Homegrown, Elwell Etcetera, Grampa's Pasty and Pie Co. and Sprout Urban Farm.
As the growing season continues and more crops are ready to harvest we expect to see Long Valley Farm, The ARC of Calhoun County, Harris Blueberries, Green Gardens Farm, Wooly Acres and other local growers.
For Wednesday markets the prepared food vendor line up changes to include La Guatemalteca Tacos, Java Jones, and several others who will come as Daily Vendors.
Thanks for your continued support of the downtown Battle Creek Farmers Market!
Battle Creek Farmers Market Association
Downtown Battle Creek Farmers Market
at Festival Market Square
Wednesday and Saturday
9 am to 1 pm
May through October
Bellevue Farmers Market in Washington Park
3 to 6 pm
June through September
Even though the weather of late has not convinced me that it's actually spring, the calendar indicates that it's time for our farmers markets to open. We want to make sure all of our customers, and vendors, are aware that the downtown Battle Creek Farmers Market at Festival Market Square will not open on May 2nd. Delays in the Festival Market Square renovation project will cause us to hold Opening Day on May 16th. Despite repeated reassurances from the City of Battle Creek that the project would be completed in time for our long scheduled May 2nd opening, the fact of the matter is that construction is not complete. Again, on the reassurances from the City, we have rescheduled Opening Day for May 16th. We regret any inconvenience this delay causes our customers and vendors.
On a more positive note, we have a great line up of vendors again this year. Many of your favorites will be returning and we have several vendors who are new to the downtown Battle Creek Farmers Market. Confirmed returning vendors include: Grampa's Pasty's, Pleasant Hill Farm, The Bakewell Company, J & S Farms, Long Valley Farm, The Great Bread Company, The ARC of Calhoun County, Sprout Urban Farm, Elwell Etcetera, Verdant Grace, Hoover Farms, Louie's Donut Shop, Eicher's Family Bakery, Farmers on the Move, Beetree Farms, Countryside Produce, Avalon Farms and Kahoona's Granola. Jen's Gourmet Dressings will attend occasionally, and the American Legion Auxiliary will return periodically.
We are very excited with the list of confirmed new vendors, which includes Mycophiles Garden (mushrooms and mushroom growing kits), Java Jones (fresh roasted coffee beans), Great Scott Ice Cream (summertime treats), The Cheese People (selection of quality cheese, cut on site), Ben's Soft Pretzels (freshly made on site), Jocelyn Price (all kinds of flowers, planters and hanging baskets), LT's Angry Mustard (just what it sounds like...hot mustard). Several other new vendors have contacted us and are in the process of getting their applications to us.
We will continue to participate in Double Up Food Bucks, Project FRESH, Senior Market FRESH, NHBP Elders Program, and process Bridge Cards, Debit and Credit cards.
With much work on behalf of Chuck Rysenga, who had taken care of scheduling musicians, we will have live music for each market day from Kalamazoo Folk Life. In addition, the Downtown Market Music Series continues during July and August.
So it's an exciting time of year! We'll do our best to keep you informed of all that happens at both the downtown Battle Creek Farmers Market and the Bellevue Farmers Market. The Bellevue Farmers Market opens on June 4th, 3 - 6 pm and continues through September 24th.
And we think you'll like the new Festival Market Square!
Construction delays on the Festival Market Square Renovation Project will force Opening Day to be postponed to May 16, 2015. We hope that you will join us at the all new Farmers Market facility. The wait will be worth it!
When the Village of Bellevue did their master plan, the plan included a Farmers Market. It's one thing to put a Farmers Market in a Master Plan, but another thing to get a Farmers Market started and have it thrive. As often happens in small, friendly towns, one conversation led to another and the Village Council invited the Battle Creek Farmers Market Association to sponsor a market in Washington Park. The Association was willing to give it a try, holding the first market day on August 9, 2007.
There has been a farmers market in downtown Battle Creek since the late 1800's. In it's current form, as sponsored by the Battle Creek Farmers Market Association, the market has been around since the non-profit association was formed in the 1980's.
After moving around from the Hamblin Avenue parking ramp, to the parking lot at Burnham Brook, the market returned to the Festival Market Square area in 2003. With just six vendors that season, the market has grown and now hosts as many as 35 vendors during the peak of the season. The farmers market had clearly outgrown Festival Market Square. Vendors struggled to keep products out of the sun and rain. Most had to unload their product then move their vehicle to the parking ramp. Very time consuming and inconvenient for the vendors. Customers became frustrated with parking. The mix of foot traffic and vehicle traffic became a safety issue.
Now it wasn't all bad...Festival Market Square Music and an abundance of picnic tables made for a great summer lunch venue. It was easy to grab a pastie, meat pie, burrito or taco, some cookies or some fresh fruit, and enjoy eating lunch out of doors. Our loyal customers took the little inconveniences in stride and came to the market anyway. Vendors made the best of the situation.
Last summer the Battle Creek market location was temporarily moved to the parking lot on the corner of McCamly Street South and West Hamblin Avenue to accommodate construction of the NEW Festival Market Square location.
Construction on the project is expected to be completed in time for Opening Day on May 2, 2015.
Customers and vendors will find an all new facility with covered space for approximately 36 vendors. No more fighting the rain or sweating in the sun while shopping! How great will that be?
A new addition to Festival Market Square is a dedicated stage area that will make it easy for musicians to entertain on market days. How great will that be?
In addition to being the home for the downtown Battle Creek Farmers Market, the venue can be used for festivals and concerts. How great is that?
Getting the picture? Battle Creek is going to have a GRRREEEAAAT new Festival Market Square!
The calendar is set for the 2015 farmers market season with opening day scheduled for the downtown Battle Creek Farmers Market on May 2nd. Opening day for the Bellevue Market will be on June 4th.
October 31st will be the last market day for downtown Battle Creek while September 24th will be the last market day for Bellevue.
No market will be held in Battle Creek on Saturday, July 4th. Be sure to come by the market on Wednesday in Battle Creek or Thursday in Bellevue to prepare for the holiday.