By Kristin Boza
The 95th Street Farmers Market is back for another season of good eats, fresh produce, and an overall fun community atmosphere. The market, managed by the 95th Street Business Association, is open every Sunday through October from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot at 95th and Longwood Drive.
Since taking over the market from the city of Chicago a few years ago, 95th Street Business Association Executive Director Erin Ross and her team are dedicated to attracting a mix of vendors that appeal to the Beverly/Morgan Park community.
“We strive to create an environment that the vendors enjoy being a part of to help ensure that they return year after year,” Ross said. “Many of our vendors tell us that we are their favorite market because we work hard to market each of our vendors to the community and support them throughout the season. We take a very hands-on approach to our market.”
Vendors this year include Aimie’s European Bakery; Three Apples, LLC; Danie’s Natural Juice; Yoberri; AndySunflower Café; Lizzie’s Baked Goods; Coco’s Tamales; Emmy & J’s; Bee Line Microgreens, LLC; Uncle Earl’s BBQ; Finn’s Ranch; LaFevour Farms & Greenhouses; Noffke Family Farms; Stamper Cheese; The Smile on a Dog, LLC; Sweet Home Designs; Piscasaw Gardens; Uncle Pizzas; Urban Canopy; Johnny’s Nuts; LeonMechelle Art; and Twenty Bakery.
“Noffke Farms and LaFevour Farms are our longest standing vendors, and our customers are always thrilled to purchase fresh produce and plants from them. AndySunflower Café is a beloved vendor at the market; who doesn’t love enjoying a cup of coffee or refreshing iced drink while they shop the market?” Ross said.
In addition to the regular weekly vendors, others will occasionally pop in, like Savory Salt Company and Breadman Baking Company. Local businesses will also make appearances throughout the season, including The Bloom Bar selling fresh floral bouquets, and Beverly Dry Goods, which got their start at the market.
There’s plenty of entertainment to keep the fun vibe going. Complimentary face painting for kids is available every other week from 10 a.m. to noon, and live music with different performers each week will play from 10 a.m. to noon.
“For the past two years, we weren’t allowed to serve food on the market premises due to COVID restrictions implemented by the City of Chicago,” Ross said. “Now that we are offering food again, we want to make it a unique experience.” This season, various food pop-ups will begin selling delicious bites at 9 a.m. and continue until they sell out.
Local resident, restaurant owner, and artist Won Kim reached out to numerous restaurants and secured a wide assortment of food options for the market, according to Ross. Upcoming offerings include Taco Sublime, Bumbu Roux, Tilly Bagels, Butter Upon Bacon, and Bayan Ko.
“We are also thrilled about our partnership with the Chicago Public Library Beverly Branch. Tamela Chambers, the branch manager, is a great advocate of the market,” Ross said. “She and her staff will join us to bring crafts for the kids, summer reading program sign-ups, and story time, and local chef Alvin Green will host a series of cooking demonstrations tied into some book selections for adult readers.”
The market will also host visits from the Kellogg School Garden Club, Edna White Garden, and the Beverly Arts Center.
Ross is determined to keep the market fresh, diverse, and a place where people will eagerly return week after week. “Besides produce, our vendors offer cheese, roasted nuts, coffee, barbeque, dog treats and products, artwork, baked goods, meat and eggs, frozen yogurt, tamales, and fresh juices,” Ross said. “I believe that our market is one of the best reflections of our diverse community. Our goal is to make the market a welcoming oasis. It is a great place to catch up with neighbors, friends, and local business owners.”
The vendors feel supported by the community, and many sell out of their goods by noon each week. “I’m also really proud that the market has helped launch some of our local businesses, including Beverly Dry Goods, The Bloom Bar, and AndySunflower Café,” Ross said. “It’s extremely gratifying to watch successful vendors build up a customer base and use the market as a space to try out new product and ideas.”
Andy Robinson, owner of AndySunflower Café, started at the market and now has a year-round location at 9920 S. Western, offering specialty coffee, tea, and pastries.
“There are so many things to love about the 95th Street Farmers Market; first and foremost is the community. I love the friendships that I’ve developed with the other vendors, and watching friends and families that meetup and make the market the start of their Sunday,” Robinson said. “My favorite thing to do on a Sunday is serve this community coffee and tea. A lot of work goes into being a vendor, but serving at this farmers market is absolutely worth it all – and Erin Ross is just awesome!”
Three Apples is a long-time vendor owned by Karen Louden, Melonie Fisher and Michele Appleton. “We are three sisters making desserts and treats to be your new favorites, focusing on vegan, specialty cheesecakes and gluten-free friendly foods. We love the market because it’s home and where we grew up and a beautiful community. People from all over the city love visiting it to enjoy the positive vibes,” Louden said.
Find the weekly schedule of food, events, and vendors posted on Facebook (95thStreetMarket), Instagram (@95thStFarmersMarket), and 95thStreetBA.org.