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Oak Forest Farmers Market Opens May 31

Oak Forest's farmers market kicks off Saturday at 7 a.m., in the Oak Forest Metra station parking lot.

Farmers market fans in Oak Forest, get ready. Your local market kicks off Saturday, May 31. 

It's starting off strong, said Oak Forest Park District Commissioner Joe Conway. The market has a new day, time and location, and Conway hopes it will lead to greater success for the new-ish market.

"We don't have a true downtown, but that doesn't mean we can't set up a central spot on Saturday mornings," he said.

The market will be held Saturday mornings from May 31 through Oct. 11 from 7 a.m. to noon, at the Oak Forest Metra station parking lot at 159th and Cicero. This year's market has been  envisioned by a group of dedicated citizens, including Marie Leshyn, Cheryl Rogers, Nick Caulfield, and Bridget Sanchez. The Oak Forest Park District's Kirstin Bardusk is overseeing their efforts. The volunteers have visited area markets to get a feel for vendors and try to draw them to the Oak Forest market. 

"Those four people really stepped up," Conway said. 

Several fan favorites will return this year, including Stamper Cheese and Labriola bread. An espresso truck will serve hot and cold coffee, and customers can enjoy donuts made fresh on the spot, Conway said.

He's still seeking a florist to sell fresh-cut flowers, and plans to approach Steer Hogs Barbecue of Midlothian about participating. 

The City of Oak Forest has assisted with publicizing the market on yard signs and banners. MB Financial and Standard Bank have also hopped on as sponsors, Conway said. 

"We're really getting the community behind us," he said. 

"The market will only be successful if people come out for it."

Other vendors include:
  • Mr. Salty Kettle Corn: lemon shakeups, kettle corn, cotton candy, funnel cakes         
  • Mrs. Hunt’s Gourmet Cookies: cookies, lemonade, coffee  
  • Espresso Will Travel Inc.: coffee, blended coffee beverages, smoothies, hot lattes, herbal teas         
  • Lyons Fruit Farm: fruit & eggs, asparagus, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, apricots, cherries, apples, pears, apple cider, 12 varieties of tomatoes         
  • Sis Salsa: tortilla chips, salsa and tamales         
  • Kim O’Byrne: dog treats, dog waste bag holders for leash         
  • Avon: cosmetics         
  • Sonoma Farms: infused California olive oils, olives, dips, pasta sauce, handmade pasta, Labriola breads         
  • Stamper Cheese: a variety of cheeses, herbs and spices for cheese 
  • Kernel Sweetooth: kettle corn, cheese/caramel corn, hand-decorated cookies, chocolate-dipped treats, caramel apples         
  • Dough Guys Bakery: donuts, baked goods         
  • Game Time Concessions: hot dogs, burgers, nachos, etc.         
  • Heimenz Nursery: potted plants, perennials, shrubs         
  • Livnola Inc.: all natural granola bars, loose granola
  • Tastefully Simple
  • Thirty-One
  • Angelica Pies
Farmers market shoppers with feedback for the park district can email kbardusk@oakforestparks.org.
Cathy Crosby May 31, 2014 at 12:18 PM
I just came back from farmers market and yes there are only a few tables but it was great. I purchased a few things and hopefully next Saturday will even be better. this was only the first time and maybe the other vendors had something else to do. I will keep going every Saturday .
John Wyskiel May 31, 2014 at 12:26 PM
yeah charlotte. lay off. its the first week. give it a chance before slandering it on the patch.
Laura May 31, 2014 at 12:38 PM
It was a nice showing for the first week. The prices were high, and the funnel cakes were underdone and too doughy. The dog treats were $5.50 for a 3 ounce bag. Had a $5.50 mocha iced coffee. Wasn't worth $5.50. Nice perennials, but a little high at $8.00.
Cathy June 02, 2014 at 12:51 AM
Very disappointed. My idea of a farmers market is ALOT of fresh fruits and vegetables and maybe a little jam and bread on the side. This was more like a flea market. Junk food galore - get your kettle corn and fried dough. Definitely will not return.
Susan June 03, 2014 at 12:45 AM
I went to check out the farmer's market in Chicago Ridge today. It is their first one ever. It runs from 2 - 7. They had a garden club selling potted herbs and plants, bread, tamales, organic meats, kettle and cheese corn, honey and honey products, a man who sharpens knives, outdoor plants and flowers, a hot dog vendor, a cooking demonstration at 5 and the library booth had story time for the kids that ran around 40 minutes. Not to shabby for their first time.

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