The Toledo Farmers Market has to be the best place to shop locally. Farmers and merchants from all around the greater Toledo area arrive to set up very early Saturday mornings with their freshly picked produce, fresh bread, and delicious treats, ready for the 8 a.m. early market goers. Many of the farmers have done this week after week, meeting and greeting market shoppers, answering questions with pride over their harvest. Kinda sounds like a movie or documentary, right? I can’t say that I have been to a lot of outdoor farm markets around the globe, but I do think we have a very good one here in Toledo. There are dozens of vendors ranging from fresh fruits and vegetables, to bread and pastries; flowers to candles. You can do the large majority of your grocery shopping right downtown in the warehouse district!
Seriously, need food for breakfast? Try bread from All Crumbs Bakery, or Country Grains, fresh made jam, honey, or apple butter, season peak fruit and berries, local eggs, herbs, and coffee from The Flying Rhino, or Bee’s Blend Specialty coffee. Yes coffee!!
Lunch or dinner? That’s easy and endless! Cheese from Canal Junction and Turkeryfoot Creamery, vegetables, salad dressing from Grumpy’s, savory focaccia bread, sloppy joes, Bob’s Best Salsa, tortilla chips, great homemade noodles, and kettle corn. You can buy poultry (and I’m not talking the kind with feathers, I mean pre-cut, and cleaned of course!), and all different cuts of pork, plus rabbit, duck, or turkey in the poultry house.
Have a sweet tooth? I know I do. You can pick up full pies, mini pies, hand pies, cookies, donuts (have you tried Holey Toledough Donuts?!), brownies, cupcakes, high quality chocolates and macaroons from Flying Rhino, and my favorite: croissants and danish from All Crumbs. Hungry yet?
Should you get hungry while you are there, many of the foods are ready to eat, and food trucks line Market Street. Grumpy’s On-The-Go is always present with salads, cookies, and other foods. There’s a barbecue truck that sends a delicious smokey sent through the whole area.
You can even sign up for their FarmFan Loyalty program on their website, technology is not lost on this venue. No cash? No Problem! Use your card to buy tokens that can be spent just as cash. I do it all the time! Some vendors even have Square®, so they too can accept your card. Its great for that time I desperately wanted some Rachael’s Homemade Ice Cream and thank goodness she accepts cards, because that ice cream is more than worth it!
The market is such a clean, friendly location for everyone. Shop by yourself, interact with other shoppers and vendors, run into people you know (because, let’s face it, you will), take the family, bring the kids, bring the dog, take a friend and make a morning of it. Brighten your day with fresh flowers. If getting up on Saturday morning to go shopping not possible, there is Westgate Wednesdays and various other satellites throughout the week. Just give it a try. The market is open all year round to discover new seasonal foods, and I love knowing that we are investing right back into our community.
Share your thoughts, comment below: Do you have a favorite vendor or farm? What is the best item you have ever tried at the market? Is there a market in another city that you find extra special?