PAWTUCKET – Opening day of a new outdoor summer Pawtucket Farmers Market will be on Friday, May 12, at The Guild, 461 Main St. It will be open every Friday night until Oct. 27, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Beer Garden.
The Pawtucket Farmers Market operates during the winter on Wednesday nights at the Hope Artiste Village, the current iteration taking over for the one operated by Farm Fresh, which previously moved.
Co-market manager and Pawtucket resident Lisa Kellogg said that once Farm Fresh left, there was a hole in Pawtucket for fresh produce, hence the idea for reviving the market.
They have an ongoing agreement with Hope Artiste Village operators for the winter months, but wanted to continue to provide fresh items through the spring and summer, seeking an outdoor venue. Kellogg said that a number of Pawtucket residents wanted the Farmers Market to extend into other seasons.
“I reached out to The Guild,” Kellogg said about living in the neighborhood and knowing this part of Pawtucket where the popular brewery is located.
Kellogg said The Guild owners donated the outdoor space so they won’t have to rent, as part of a collaborative, mutually beneficial relationship. She added that Guild co-owner Jeremy Duffy has so many good ideas.
Kellogg said she thought The Guild would be a perfect space to expand to, especially with the new train station being almost across the street.
“We had the idea you can do everything in one place,” she said.
Someone can get off the train after a long day, visit The Guild to relax, get a beer, and experience some live music while getting their grocery shopping done, she said.
Kellogg and her committee are in the process of organizing the live music for each Friday night, and so far have booked Alex Cohen Acoustic, which has performed for them at Hope Artiste Village, as well as The Empress.
The application form for vendors has been released and Kellogg said they have about 20 applications in so far. They are still looking for more including a new bread vendor, but many of the same vendors are returning from the Winter Farmers Market and there will be plenty of space to accommodate new vendors.
Already confirmed vendors include High Tide Mushroom Farm, Pawtucket-based Spoon & Board, gluten-free Dee’s Little Sweets, and Tony’s Seafood. Kellogg said her favorite vendor is May’s Gluten-Free Market, who makes a gluten-free pizza that tastes like typical pizza. She said she likes to buy toppings from other vendors and give them to May to prepare a custom pizza.
Another popular returning vendor is Dee’s Little Sweets. Kellogg said Dee also offers gluten-free cupcakes.
Kellogg said the plan is to set up the musicians in front of the brew house, which will be opened to have the brew tanks as the backdrop.
When thinking of finding a new space, Kellogg said her first choice was The Guild and it happened to work out. She is currently brainstorming a loyalty rewards program for customers who come back week after week. They also have contingency and backup plans in place if the weather is bad, moving some vendors inside to avoid cancelling.
Kellogg said this initiative is about community support.
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