Continuing efforts to provide locally-produced goods to the community across all seasons, the Pawtuxet Village Farmer’s Market is this year hosting a weekly winter market.
“The community really wanted it,” said market coordinator Annemarie Bruun. “We have a really loyal customer base … We have a great community.”
Hosted at the Edgewood Congregational Church at 1788 Broad St., the winter market was opened for the first time last year and was held every other week.
Bruun said the creation of the winter market was driven by customers, many of who traveled to year-round markets in other communities to visit vendors from the Pawtuxet market’s regular outdoor season at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet.
“It’s the idea of being sustainable in our community,” she said.
Four or five vendors participated in the first year and as time went on, it became clear that expansion would be viable.
“It was successful enough that people thought it was worthwhile” to move to a weekly schedule, said Bruun.
The winter market this year opened Dec. 5, and it is being held every Thursday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. through April 17. Bruun praised the church, saying it has been “so cooperative” and welcoming.
Returning offerings include greens and herbs from Blue Sky’s Farm, which also offers produce and eggs from Pak Express, fish from The Local Catch, meats from PV Farmstand, apples and cider from Barden Family Orchard, drinks and treats from Presto Strange O and Bernie B’s Honey.
New weekly offerings include breads and baked goods from Foremost Baking Company, jams, preserves and salsas from Terry’s Tasty Treasures and a soup of the week from Little Falls Café. The market table features peanut butter and nuts from Virginia and the Spanish Peanut Company and cheese and butter from Rhody Fresh.
The market also plans occasional visits from regular season vendors Wedgewood Flowers, GC Farm and Long Entry Farm.
Christina Dedora of Blue Sky’s Farm, who has taken part in the market’s regular season for eight years, reflected on the growth of the winter market from last year’s inaugural run.
“We didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “This year, it’s full speed ahead.”
Dedora also praised the market’s “really loyal customer base,” and urged those interested in locally grown foods to visit www.farmfreshri.org.
The market has also drawn others from the broader community. Volunteers from Johnson & Wales University’s nearby Centennial House, a student residence dedicated to community service, help with the logistics of the event.
“It’s great,” said Scott Cox, the house’s outreach and service coordinator, who was on hand along with fellow students Kim Watson and Abigail Cabebe during last week’s market. “We walk here, volunteer and support local farmers.”
Parking for the winter market is available in the lot on the Albert Avenue side of the church buildings or on the street. Visitors can enter by the doors of the windowed portico to the right of the main church entrance on Broad Street, and the market is down the stairs to the basement.
Those interested in more information can visit the market’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pages/Pawtuxet-Village-Farmers-Market/120274351335045.