June in Minnesota promises the end of the school year and the start of summer vacation. Lazy weekends at the lake. Sunny days at the park. Cool evenings perfect for a campfire and s’mores. Twins games, Valleyfair. And Thursday afternoons at the Maple Grove Farmers Market.
About the Maple Grove Farmers Market
The Maple Grove Farmers Market is the largest market in the northwest metro area, established in 2004 as an initiative of the City of Maple Grove. The Market has evolved to offer visitors programming that includes live music, the Power of Produce program for kids, and a Frequent Shopper program, in addition to a fantastic array of vendors with a broad range of locally grown or produced food and other products.
With its commitment to local agriculture, support of small growers and producers, and inviting venue for shoppers, it’s no wonder that the Maple Grove Farmers Market has become a much-loved year-round tradition in the northwest metro.
The Market is a bit different for visitors used to shopping in a grocery store. First-time visitors to the Market may feel somewhat overwhelmed at first, especially later in the season when there is a bounty of products. The Market offers a fresh mix for its visitors each week.
Market Manager Kirsten Bansen Weigle, who has been with the organization since 2008, emphasized two key points for new visitors. “The Market is a friendly and welcoming place, and visitors should feel confident approaching each vendor stall to learn what is available, how it’s made or grown, how it tastes, and how much it costs. There is no obligation or expectation to purchase.”
In addition, she encourages visitors to view the Market as a grocery shopping experience, not just an entertainment or agritainment venue. “It really is possible to purchase your household’s veggies, fruits, breads, sauces, salsas, and proteins at the Market each week,” Bansen Weigle stated. “And it feels great to patronize local, small farms and food businesses.”
Each stall at the Market is its own, separate business. Every vendor accepts cash; some will accept checks or credit cards. The Market offers a convenient token system for visitors without cash. Visit the information booth to buy tokens with a credit or debit card. Tokens spend like cash around the Market.
2017 Vendor Highlights
- Clover Meadow Bakery returns to the Market this year with delicious and wildly popular gluten- and dairy-free breads, desserts, and baking mixes.
- Green Hearts is a new vendor offering allergen-friendly options, including gluten-free sweet potato noodles and gluten-free spice mixes.
- Eicher’s Hobby Farm also returns after a hiatus with delicious soft goat cheeses, frozen goat meat, and goat’s milk soaps and lotions (and cute baby goat pictures on their Facebook page).
- Natasha’s Pierogi will bring their new concessions trailer each day of the Market, allowing them to offer pierogis and dumplings hot and ready-to-eat as well as conveniently frozen for home preparation.
The Market offers community members opportunities to get involved. Organizers look for unique, locally grown or produced items that will complement current offerings. They will consider new vendor applications throughout the season, with several participation options. Download Vendor Guidelines and the Vendor Application to learn more.
Market organizers are always looking for volunteers. They can accommodate anything from a one-time occasion to a season-long presence. Volunteers submit a brief application and attend an orientation session. Volunteers are especially needed for set-up and take-down. Learn more about vendor and volunteer opportunities at the Market website.
Prime Advertising & Design is proud to be a Market Sponsor! Sponsor support allows the Market to maintain their reputation as a vibrant, highly regarded community tradition. Live music and entertainment, the Frequent Shopper program, Power of Produce, and other promotions and programs are made possible by Market Sponsors.
Sponsorships allow for an opportunity to overlap the mission of the Market with the work of the sponsors.
“We like to enhance the work that both the Market and the local business are doing,” Bansen Wiegle said. “We’ve benefitted enormously from the commitment of building community or working toward great public health or financial literacy, for example.”
The Market draws 35,000 – 40,000 shoppers during its 20-week season, and organizers frequently hear comments about sponsors from customers. “We have such a loyal, enthusiastic, and open-minded customer base,” Bansen Weigle said, “so sponsorship is a great way to get out into the community.”
“It’s a welcoming, upbeat, friendly environment,” Bansen Weigle expressed. “It’s a lovely outdoor place in our lovely Minnesota summer.”
The Maple Grove Farmers Market celebrates Opening Day of the Outdoor Market season on Thursday, June 15 from 3 pm to 7 pm. The event features live music from folk-style duo Bobby & Christine as well as regular programming.
The Maple Grove Farmers Market is held on Thursday afternoons at the Maple Grove Community Center. The Outdoor Market is open June 15, 2017 to October 19, 2017 from 3 pm to 7 pm (June through September) and 3 pm to 6 pm (October). The Indoor Market runs on occasional Thursdays during the winter months. Check their newly redesigned website for the most up-to-date information and details about parking, payment, and more.