The Farmers Markets of Naperville

Tis the season of farmers markets, and in Naperville you’ll find a couple that have all the locally grown products you love.

For the past five years, the Farmers Market at St. John’s on Aurora Avenue has hosted vendors from 3 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday. Homegrown fruits, vegetables, and even dog treats are sold at the market, which also acts as a fundraiser.

Vendors pay a fee to set up shop at the market, and that money goes to charities.

“It’s a really nice setting, the vendors like it, we get lots of calls for vendors, more than we can really handle, because they say it’s not the biggest or the best market, but it’s the nicest,”said Birnie Harper, the Assistant Market Manager of the Farmers Market at St. John’s.

Each week the Farmers Market at St. John’s sees around 300 visitors and hands out recipes focused on a fruit or vegetable that’s in season.

And if you don’t have time during the week to shop on Saturday you can make your way to the 5th Avenue Farmers Market.

“Some of these vendors have been here the 28 years that we’ve been here at 5th Avenue. So these are dedicated people, farmers in it for life, this is their livelihood, this is what they do, and they’re excited to be here every Saturday morning at 5 o’clock with a smile on their face,” said Annamarie Bensfield, Market Master of the 5th Avenue Farmers Market.

Each week from 7 a.m. to noon, this market welcomes a couple thousand visitors, who shop at vendors that come from all over Illinois and the Midwest.

“I love all these Farmers Markets. Everyone’s happy, everyone is in a great mood, you know, they’re getting great food, great produce, so I always like that,” said Deanna Harris, an employee of The Cheese People.

Here you’ll find everything from vegetables and flowers to honey and pies. And the vendors who sell these products get more out of the experience than just expanding their business.

“It’s just fun to meet with customers directly,”said Greg Rosenquist, owner of Staff of Life Bakery & Farms. “When I started out my business I did more wholesale to different retail stores but what I really like is having direct contact with the customers, direct feedback from the customers.”

“Well obviously I love when people go ‘oh that’s really good!’ That’s one of my favorite parts. Other than that I like talking to people, I like to talk a lot so that’s really good for me to get out of my system,” said Mary Rosti, owner of JellyKicks.

The Farmers Market at St. John’s will run through mid-September and the 5th Avenue Farmers Market will go until October.

A place to support local vendors, socialize, and try new products all summer long.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.

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