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Market Grand Opening is set for August 24
The Frankenmuth Farmers Market (FFM) will host a Grand Opening of its new, state-of-the-art, $2.3 million building on Wednesday, August 24. Remarks and a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 6pm at the Market Pavilion, the covered outdoor venue that is one component of the Market’s new multi-faceted campus. Attendees will be also able to tour the Gathering Barn, Artisans Kitchen incubator facility and Farm Store that comprise the new evolution of the FFM. Tours will be available 5-7pm as a special feature during the Market’s normal operating hours of 3-7pm on Wednesdays. All are invited to attend.
This dream-turned-reality for the Market began in 2014 when long-time sponsor Frankenmuth Credit Union offered property at an agreeable price to the Market during its 10th season. Diligent research, planning, fundraising and construction since then have allowed the new structure to blossom at the north end of Frankenmuth. Now able to accommodate up to 51 vendors, the Farmers Market has been held since the opening day in May under the Pavilion as finishing details to the building were carried out. Final installations in the building are expected to be fully completed for the August 24 Grand Opening. The comprehensive construction project was financed by Frankenmuth Credit Union, designed by TSSF Architects, Inc. and built by Wm. Bronner & Son Contractors, Inc. using local contractors as much as possible.
The capital campaign was supported by many local, state and federal grants along with generous donations from local businesses and foundations. With over $1.3 million raised to date, fundraising is still ongoing.
The campus abounds with both state-of-the-art and also time-honored traditional features unique to this complex operation. Covenant HealthCare sponsored the state-of-the-art outside wireless speaker system and indoor AV installations in each of the building’s rooms. Free public WiFi and a 24/7 live webcam were sponsored by Air Advantage. Frankenmuth Insurance sponsored the meeting room and donated much of the furniture for the entire building. The Gathering Barn features LED color-changing lighting and an AV monitor displaying upcoming events, health and nutrition information and other announcements. The 24/7 rentable Artisans Kitchen is a fully-equipped commercial certified kitchen planned as a business incubator for specialty food preparers, and it boasts two unique wood-fired brick ovens to carry forth the heritage of hearth baking. Custom-engraved bricks sold as a fundraiser line the outside entrance to the Pavilion from the Gathering Barn. The new operation is being recognized around the state and the nation for its innovation and uniqueness.
The FFM aims to bring consumers and producers together under one roof. Its mission is to promote and provide locally grown food and products, education and entrepreneurial opportunities to benefit the community and foster sustainability. The FFM’s vision is to supply the community with fresh local products; create the exchange of value-added goods; educate all stakeholders in the value and benefits of a local sustainable food system; enable everyone to leave the Market enriched through wealth, knowledge, satisfaction and enjoyment that would not otherwise be gained; keep our rural heritage alive; and inspire the community.
As a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to education, opportunities for learning are built into every component of the new Market. Aside from the learning that inherently takes place during market visits between producers and consumers, the Pavilion hosts the Kernel of Knowledge booth featuring nutritional education. Both children and parents learn about healthy eating in the Power of Produce program supplying registered kids with $2/week to spend on fruits or vegetables and educational activities, sponsored by Mid-Michigan 100 Women Who Care and the Allen Foundation.
The Gathering Barn and Artisans Kitchen areas can host classes, seminars, and training, also taking advantage of the monitors and speakers installed. The Kitchen and staff will educate its users on food licensing, commercial preparation, and business development. Visitors to the Farm Store will find educational manuals and learn of the many artisanal products and their producers that will seasonally rotate through this retail shop.
The upcoming calendar of events includes the newly announced s Fun Night and Feast of the Harvest Moon, with more information on those events to follow.
• 3-7pm Wednesday Farmers Markets through October 12
• 8am-2pm Saturday Farmers Markets through October 15
• 11am-1pm Pig Roast at the Market Courtesy of Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth
• 6pm s Fun Night featuring Grease
• 10am-4pm Vintage Markets September 11 and October 9
• 6pm Feast of the Harvest Moon on September 20
• Christkindlmarkt Downtown Frankenmuth, November 25-27 and December 2-4.
The FFM accepts credit/debit/SNAP Bridge Card redemption and Double Up Food Bucks. A founding member of the Michigan Farmers Market Association, the Market is listed as one of the top ten must-visit farmers markets in Michigan by the website OnlyInYourState.com and was named one of ten “must see” farmers markets in Michigan by Michigan Travel Ideas.
To learn more, visit frankenmuthfarmersmarket.org or the Market’s Facebook page.
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