At the market | North Canton Farmers’ Market brings things indoors this season

While most farmers’ markets are seasonal and only available in the warmers months, that’s not the case with the North Canton Farmers’ Market. It offers year-round access to a wide range of locally created farm products, baked and preserved goods and crafts and pet, home and personal care items.

While most farmers’ markets are seasonal and only available in the warmers months, that’s not the case with the North Canton Farmers’ Market. It offers year-round access to a wide range of locally created farm products, baked and preserved goods and crafts and pet, home and personal care items.

Currently, the North Canton Farmers’ Market is located inside the accessible, former Kmart building at 1447 North Main Street in North Canton. The market is open from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, with the first half-hour reserved for seniors and those who are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. The indoor season runs through April 28.

The market is hosted by the City of North Canton and coordinated by Ohio Certified Market Manager, Know Your Roots.

I chatted with Jena Grosschmidt, market manager of Know Your Roots. See what she had to say.

Where did the idea for an indoor farmers’ market come from?
In the spring of 2019, we began to receive interest from vendors, seeking an opportunity to sell directly to their customer’s year round. At the same time, requests started coming in from North Canton residents asking for us to assist in bringing back the North Canton Farmers’ Market. We shared the concept with Mayor Wilder, and he liked the idea of providing our community with access to fresh essential goods during a time frame when other local markets were closed. And so, the plans for the 2020-21 indoor season of the North Canton Farmers’ Market began.

What has the reaction to the indoor market from the community been like?
Very positive. Verbal support on-site and online has been of gratefulness for the opportunity to shop fresh, local and seasonal during a time frame never available before.

How many guests usually attend the weekly market?
We have had three indoor markets so far, with an average traffic count around 525.

Are the same vendors there at every market?
Many of our vendors are full season and will be available most dates, through April 28. We also have a group of rotating vendors that will be participating on occasion. Combined, it makes for staple products you can count on each week and a great mix of unique new products to check out, as well.

Are you accepting new vendors?
Yes, we are always accepting applications. Vendor, sponsor and food truck applications are available at NCantonFarmersMarket.com/indoor.

Many markets accept cash only. Is that the case here? Or is it vendor-based?
Each vendor is its own small business, and they all choose which forms of payment they accept. While everyone accepts cash, most offer some form of credit card/digital payment. Our website highlights many of the vendors and provides details on what forms of payment to expect and how to preorder with them.

Can I expect lots of produce to be available throughout the winter?
We sure hope so! We’ve got some fantastic farms that have planned ahead utilizing hoop houses and cold storage to make local produce available during the cold months.

I’ve heard talk of some special events and themed markets this winter. What can I expect?
Correct, the market will be hosting the following themed markets this season. Closer to, the details for all will be posted on our website and Facebook event pages.
January 13: Health & Nutrition Fair
February 10: CSA & Farm Expo
March 24: Senior Showcase
April 21: Earth Day Celebration

With this being indoors, what are you doing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus?
The market is compliant with all current, mandatory guidelines provided by the Ohio Department of Health and Stark County Health Department. We will continue to adjust our policies, as needed, based on our governor’s orders. As of this moment in time, we ask that all participants abide by the mask and distancing guidelines. We offer hand sanitizer throughout the market and touchless restroom facilities. The market is set up for directional traffic with a clear entrance and exit. All of our activities will be touch free and/or have sanitizer readily available. Many vendors offer a preorder option and accept credit card/digital payments. We are also actively seeking sponsors and volunteers to hopefully offer preorder curbside pickup in 2021. Any organizations and volunteers that might be interested in supporting such can reach out to KnowYourRootsOhio@gmail.com for further details.