By Laurie Gordon
A weekly farmers market has been treating The Shoppes at Lafayette visitors to some amazing fresh produce and astounding goodies every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Coordinated by Ken Olsen, of Olsen's Honey & Spice, word about the Market is spreading.
“I'm looking forward to it growing in the future,” Olsen said. “We're doing OK, but we certainly want people to know we are here. The Shoppes is such a great location, and we want it to be a community destination."
The market consistently includes M.A.C. Gardens, Savour Cafe, Bello Pane, Churutabis Farm, Jersey Pickles, Pistil & Petal Farm, Greater Greens, Kariba Farms, Krakus Polish Deli, and Olsen's Honey & Spice. Additionally, a multi-vendor tent includes Springhouse Cheese, Kauffman's Jams & Jellies and others.
“We are publicizing the Market via social media as well as our website and newspaper articles and flyers,” said Shoppes at Lafayette's manager Patti Singer. “Foot traffic has been fantastic. We are busy right from the start of day at 10:30 a.m. with some shoppers arriving before that. We are seeing new customers as well as repeat customers who restock every week with their favorite vegetables, breads and more.”
Singer said the Shoppes' store owners love having the Farmers Market weekly.
“Not only do they benefit from increased foot traffic but they also become some of the Market's best customers,” she said.
The Market intermittently features musicians.
“We will have a couple of visits from the creators of the Sparta Renaissance Fair who will walk around in costume and promote their event,” Singer said. “On October 27th we will be having an all day Garlic Festival featuring all types of garlic, seminars, workshops, food , music and more. The Garlic Festival was a very popular event back in the heyday of Olde Lafayette Village and actually, the very first Garlic Festival in NJ was held right here.”
Every week, specialty vendors are invited to sell their wares at the Market.
“We have had soap makers, candle makers, and a local photographer,” Singer said. “We also bring in a pet rescue every Market so dogs, cats and other animals can find their fur-ever home. As the season continues we will add more vendors and specialty events.”
Beginning this weekend, August 18th, Sugar Sweet Farm is moving its petting zoo and pony rides over to the property on the weekends.
“We are thrilled to have them and feel they are a great attraction loved by children and adults alike,” Singer said.
For farm related vendor opportunities, call 973-255-9044 or connect with The Shoppes at Lafayette on Facebook and Instagram.
“We are seeing the Market grow,” Olsen said. “In the future, the Market will look to grow and be part of people's Sundays. “We see people staying in the county and making the Market a weekly stop to stroll through the village and make some great, fresh purchases.”