The Sandy Springs Farmers Market launched its fourth year April 13, with 45 to 50 vendors in the old Target parking lot on Sandy Springs Circle.
“We’re very much a farmers and community market,” said co-founder Andrew Bauman. “We have from the very beginning used the market for local civic and nonprofits to come in and talk about what they’re up to, raise funds and promote activities. … That is part of our mission.”
He said the variety and quality of vendors have grown since the beginning, with “upwards of 25 percent farm or produce-related” and less than 15 percent non-food-related items.
Set to open May 4, the Brookhaven Farmers Market is approaching its third year with a change in location, from behind Haven on Dresden Drive to Brookhaven Baptist Church on North Druid Hills Road.
“It gives us four or five times the space,” said Executive Director Lori Harris.
The market will have 20 vendors, up from 12 or 13 from the previous location, she said.Harris said the market does not require the government-approved organic stamp.
“We go out and visit each farm and vet their practices,” she said. “We would love to say we played a part in farmers growing their business and becoming profitable and successful in their operations.”
While there are no arts and crafts, Harris said the market has unique food vendors, including a woman who makes flavored salt. And the church will host activities for children, including balloons and face painting.
And the Peachtree Road Farmers Market at the Cathedral of St. Philip parking lot in Buckhead opened April 6 for its seventh season. It has quadrupled both vendor numbers and shopper numbers since its inception, said Market Manager Lauren Carey. The market consists of 50 vendors every week through December.
“We are Atlanta’s only producer-only market,” she said. “Everything has to be made, raised or grown by the people selling it. When you see someone with a straw hat, overalls and tomatoes, you assume they grew them. That’s not always the case.”
Twenty vendors are farmers who bring in certified organic produce, cheese, meat and honey, Carey said. Another 20 vendors feature prepared foods, including baked goods, bacon, jams, nut butters and coffee, and the remaining spaces are crafts or community spaces, including babysitting services.
Every week, a farmer-recommended chef from a local restaurant gives a demonstration.
“Our farmers [tell us] which chefs are actively supporting them, and walking the walk and talking the talk,” Carey said, “and they teach shoppers about local food.”