NEW BUFFALO — The sun shone brightly on opening day 2020 (Saturday, May 16) for the Skip’s New Buffalo European Farmers Market.

Rhonda Sobecki of Skip’s said she was pleased with the good attendance on a beautiful day, adding that people had been thanking market organizers  for opening.

She said 21 of the market’s 41 vendors qualify to participate under current state guidelines.

Sobecki noted that most visitors were wearing masks, and a hand-washing station (complete with Harbor Country Happy campaign stickers) was located at the entrance.

Starting next week (May 23 and 24) the Skip’s Market is scheduled to be open Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 16710 Lakeshore Road.

Items related to produce, food and plants abounded on opening day.

Chase Smith of Lulu’s Cupcake Creations said it was his first time at an outdoor market this year, and before noon he had already nearly emptied the two coolers full of Cupcake Creations he brought to Skip’s.

“I’m looking forward to the rest of the summer. We’ll have to bring more,” Smith said.

Kristy and Marcial Kajer of Kajer’s Greens offered microgreens (kale, radishes and mustard greens) along with beets, baby carrots, Tokyo turnips, tomato start plants, a zesty spinach mix (all organic and grown at a no-till farm).

Kristy said microgreens are not sprouts, and provide more nutrition that adult plants.

“We love this market,” she said (it’s their third year at Skip’s).

Kate Russell had a rare opportunity to bring her dog, “Wally,” to the market (normally she’s there at her Pavlov’s Pet Treats booth selling treats, bandanas and other items).

“He loves it!” she said of Wally’s reaction.

Sofia Klinedinst of the J2K Capraio booth offered a variety of cheeses (creamy cheeses, fetas, and aged cow and goat-milk varieties) made fresh on their farm along with fresh-baked bread and salami from a meatery in St. Louis.

Megan Rick of Bridgman toured the market with daughters Sophie and Layla.

“We’re loving it … We’re just happy to be outside,” she said. “We missed Skip’s — we

Sobecki said Skip’s Restaurant & Catering has been holding its own with curbside pick-up and deliveries.

She said getting beef products has been challenging, with higher prices and some cuts out of stock.

“People have been good, they understand,” she said.

“We’ve had to reinvent everything that we do, and how we do it,” Sobecki added.

• The Three Oaks Farmers Market is set to open May 23 on Oak Street in front of Three Oaks Elementary. Vendors will be spread to adhere to social distancing guidelines and advised on sanitizing and safety procedures. Gloves and masks are encouraged. For vendor information send an email to willowcreekfarm@yahoo.com.

• The Bridgman Open-Air Market made its 2020 debut on March 10 and takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays in the parking lot next to Edgewater Bank (across Lake Street from the Bridgman Public Library).

• The New Buffalo Farmers Market is being organized by the New Buffalo Business Association (NBBA) as a virtual platform to continue creating relationships between farmers and the community. The COVID-19 Compliant Version of the market will take place Friday mornings in the heart of town, starting June 19.

“Though our market will be much different than years passed, we encourage you to PRE-ORDER your goods and continue to support our local farmers and vendors!” an NBBA release states.

Information on the 2020 New Buffalo Farmers Market includes:

• Pre-Order pick up ONLY, no walk-up sales.

• All vendors/market staff must wear a mask/face covering.

• Only produce/food vendors will be allowed to be on-site for pick-up.

• Maintain 6 feet between others, if not in car

• There will no preparation or consumption of food onsite.

• We encourage contactless payment, as well as pre-orders. We encourage businesses to use square/venmo.

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