It’s a Saturday morning, you went a little too hard last night, and the only thing you want to do is lay in your bed all morning, binge watch your favorite show on Netflix, and establish yourself as the resident dorm hermit. Sound familiar? Probably.
But don’t let that episode (season??) of Friends keep you in your bed. Why? Because just a couple of miles off campus, some of the most interesting people in South Bend are gathering at the Farmer’s Market for fresh food and cool crafts that you won’t find anywhere else, and it would stink to miss out because you were hiding under the covers.
To help you out I’ve put together a list of my five favorite vendors at the South Bend Farmer’s Market:
If you’re looking for some fresh-picked produce, look no further. Rhonda from Disterheft Farms has you covered. A personal fan of Johnagold apples, Rhonda also sells cherries, peaches, plums and pears- if it’s in season, she has it.
Straight from Eau Claire, Michigan, Disterheft farms was officially established in 1973 and has always stayed in the family. Rhonda says she’s been there “forever.” Her husband began helping out on the farm when he was seven years old, so when she married him, joining Disterheft Farms was a given.
Her favorite part about selling at the Farmer’s Market? The people. The stand certainly has its regulars, and Rhonda has enjoyed forming relationships with the other vendors and their families. “You get to watch them grow up,” she says.
Based out of Mishawaka, Seren-A-Tea offers raw juices, exotic teas, herbs and spices, and the expert advice of resident Doctor of Natural Medicine, Michelle. Michelle began by offering classes on how to make her healthy and delicious tea concoctions, but everyone kept coming back saying, “Why can’t I make mine taste as good as yours?”
To appease her “students,” Rhonda opened up her store right across the street from Whole Foods just twelve weeks ago, and the rest is history.
When asked if she has trouble selling her $3-$7 juices, Michelle explained, “They’re kind of shocked at first. But then when they find out everything is sugar-free, preservative-free, and never made from concentrate, people are a lot more apt to buy.”
Not only do Michelle’s juices reap countless health benefits, but they are also uber delicious! Be sure to try best-sellers Apple Zing and Sunny Day to change the way you think about juice.
Free from additives and preservatives, it’s easy to say Breadsmith is the ultimate way to eat carbs-and who doesn’t love carbs? South Bend’s Breadsmiths are all family owned and operated, and you may recognize them from their Ironwood store across the street from Martins.
Kristina first began working at a local Breadsmith store as a part-time job, but especially enjoys her Saturdays selling at the Farmer’s Market. “It’s more laid-back here,” she explains, “I love coming here every weekend and forming relationships with a lot of the same people.”
Her best-sellers are multigrain and french peasant loaves, but Kristina’s personal favorite is the honey oat bran. And don’t forget to try out some of Breadsmith’s pastries and speciality breads too! (Like pb&j bread. WUT.)
Cecilia’s Antique Jewelry
For beautiful antique costume jewelry you won’t find anywhere else, be sure to stop by Cecilia’s. Her stand moves around every week, but she’s pretty easy to spot by her trays and trays of beautiful turquoise beads and sterling silver. A relatively new vendor to the Farmer’s Market, Cecilia frequents antique shows in Chicago and used to sell her jewelry at the State Theatre.
Her favorite part about selling at the Farmer’s Market, though, is all the people she gets to meet and talk to. Her stories are the absolute best, and she LOVES talking to students-about her life, her family, and of course about all of the fun trips she makes to get her jewelry.
Students love Cecilia too. “I think students like buying my antique jewelry because it’s unique and affordable,” she explains. That’s for sure. You definitely can’t find Cecilia’s stuff at J. Crew. And more importantly, you can’t find Cecilia there either.
Probably the most unique vendor at the Farmer’s Market, Lot 2545 was founded after Amanda spent 10-months in Kampala, Uganda and was exposed to the poverty, abuse, and homelessness of teenage boys living on the streets.
Amanda saw the problem of Uganda’s “street boys” and wanted to do something to help. So she created Lot 2545 to raise money to go towards providing them with food, shelter, and an education.
Lot 2545 employs Ugandan women who create beautiful paper bead jewelry, a distinctive craft of Kampala, and provides them with a living wage too! Proceeds from the jewelry sales go toward the boys, and each piece sold provides a boy with as many as 20 meals – how awesome is that?? So go say hi to Amanda next weekend and you, too, could do good before you’ve even had your morning coffee.
Be sure to check out these vendors and others at the South Bend Farmer’s Market, now open Tuesday/Thursday 7:00 am-2:00 pm and Saturday 7:00 am-3:00 pm.
Want to find out more about Farmer’s Markets? Check out these cool articles for more info: