Tomorrow (Saturday, 19 May) is the opening of the Marquette Farmers and Artists Market. It’s located at the Market Commons on 3rd St at Main St and runs from 9am until 2pm. We’ve been bringing bread and other baked goods to the market since the 2007 season. That was when I was renting kitchen space on Friday nights; getting my feet wet to see if the community would support a bakery. The next season, we were back; this time with the bakery functional, but the retail space wasn’t open until after the season was over. Each season, we’ve kept our stand simple and more or less the same, but expanded a bit what we brought.
Now we’re on our sixth season and some things are going to change. First off, the Michigan Department of Agriculture has become concerned about uncovered ready-to-eat food at the market. Our stand has always featured big piles of bread and other products for you to see, smell and purchase. I loved it that way, and I think most of our customers did too. This year, we are going to have all the bread prepacked in paper bags, with only a few display loaves for you to see. We’ll keep the cookies and other treats open, but now there will be some screen tents over them to keep away any adulterants. It won’t be as nice a display, or as easy to work with, but the new system will provide the protection the MDA feels is necessary. It will take a few weeks to work out the bugs in the new system, so if we are a little slower, please understand. Our goal is to create a beautiful display, and deliver our products to you in the best possible condition, while meeting all the regulatory requirements.
While getting ready for the farmers market, I also started looking at our product pricing. Wheat and other ingredient costs have been going up for a long time and the prices for our products have not changed at all since we first started selling at the farmers market in 2007. One of the main reasons for not changing prices was because I wanted to keep everything sold at the market in 1 dollar increments to simplify making change there. We’re dropping that this year, so we can have more flexibility to adjust prices to match the reality of our costs. You’ll find on Saturday, many of our bread prices are going to be higher — not by a lot, but enough to cover the added ingredient costs. Our goal is, and always has been to provide the best tasting, healthful, and beautiful product we can, at a cost that almost everyone can afford. Please help us continue to do that.
See you at the market!