The rain did not stop the final day of the Wellington Green Market’s first season Saturday, April 28 at the Wellington Amphitheater. Huddled under tents, vendors sold a vast array of products, while customers rushed to purchase a favorite item at the last time to “Go West for Farm Fresh” until the market’s next season.
The market had been running since Nov. 12 of last year, and featured a variety of local products, which included locally grown produce, freshly baked goods and pastries, flowers, plants, collectibles and interesting items for the home.
Every Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., hundreds of people attended the Wellington Green Market for an opportunity to view and purchase some of the freshest produce and products in the community. With 45 vendors coming from all over the area, green market organizer Peter Robinson was pleased with its success. “It turned out to be twice the number of vendors I anticipated for an opening year,” he said.
Robinson has run the Lake Worth Farmers Market for many years, and he decided to partner up with Wellington to provide a market in the western communities. “Wellington was very supportive of the market, and it takes a city’s support to make a real successful farmers market,” he said.
Some of the most popular items were specialty products. “Many of the products we had were specialty items like homemade salsa, which you can’t get in a major grocery store,” Robinson said.
The specialty items are what made the market so successful. “We received nothing but positive feedback,” Robinson said. “Many people came specifically for their favorite specialty items, like for the bananas from Lago Farms.”
Many of the vendors were local farmers from the surrounding communities. “This market had probably the most local growers in it because we were located close to their farms,” Robinson said.
Having the actual growers and farmers selling their products was an extremely unique factor, which Robinson believes kept people coming back.
“The vendors not only harvested the products being sold, but they had that expert knowledge, which they would educate the customers with,” he said. “They would talk about the nutrients in the products and about how the product was grown, and the customers loved that.”
Vendor Laurie Raid of Seed to Bloom was pleased with being a part of the Wellington Green Market. “We have enjoyed becoming friends with the customers, as well as educating them on local produce,” she said. “We really look forward to coming back next season.”
For Robinson, providing the freshest products grown locally is what the Wellington Green Market is all about. “All the vendors are local, and it’s the mission of the market because people prefer locally harvested products as opposed to a grocery stores, where the produce can stay for weeks,” he said.
The Wellington Green Market was great for many new and up-and-coming businesses, Robinson said. “Many people use farmers markets as a business incubator,” he said. “It’s good for testing the market and research for a new and specialty product, to see how people like it.”
Robinson anticipates next season to be as successful as the first. With 10 to 15 more vendors, and its new “farm-to-table” brunch.
“We will be serving brunch in the middle of the farmers market on one long table for about 60 people,” Robinson said. “I will create a menu that incorporates all the different vendor products, and a vendor will cook it.”
This has been a major success at the Lake Worth Farmers Market. “We hope that it’s just as popular at the Wellington Green Market.”
Next season’s Wellington Green Market will begin Nov. 10. Vendors can begin reserving a spot in August and up to one week before the market opens. For more info., call (561) 547-3100 or visit www.wellingtongreenmarket.com.