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For some, Farmers Market means more than food, fabric
by James Swift
jswift@neighbornewspapers.com
August 06, 2014 01:21 PM | 1441 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Roswell Farmers & Artisans Market Manager Michael McLane said about 1,200 visitors attend the weekly city hall event. This year, he said, 50 vendors have signed up for the “producers only market.”

With the exception of seafood and coffee, McLane said every market item sold is produced within 100 miles of Roswell.

“You have to grow it yourself,” he said. “We come out and inspect the farm, and if you’re making cheese, we go out and inspect your kitchen.”

He said the event’s success has largely stemmed from positive word of mouth. “A lot of the customers feel like this is their market,” he said.

This is the market’s seventh year in Roswell and its first operating under the city instead of Fulton County. James “Buck” Johnson, the market’s vice president, said the recent city partnership has been a “win-win” arrangement.

“They’re just enthusiastic and thrilled to have a market here, led by Roswellians,” he said. “The city wanted a lot of the things that the vendors wanted … we’ve planted some great seeds.”

City councilman Jerry Orlans is a frequent patron. “We’ve got more tents here now than we used to in previous years” he said, “and I think we’ve got more people walking through it.”

Fayetteville’s Kent Hill has been selling cookies at the market since 2010. “It’s a great location,” he said. “It’s not a huge part of our business, but I enjoy getting up Saturday morning and coming up here and hanging out.”

Woodstock’s Maria Nagy sells crepes at the event. She said she enjoys the market’s atmosphere.

“You always talk to different people,” she said.

Cumming’s Geoff Haber started promoting his line of sauces at the market earlier this year.

“It’s very organized, you always have a spot and I love the live music in the background,” he said. “McLane does an awesome job.”

Alpharetta’s Erica Estrella commands a salsa booth at the market.

“It’s been growing a lot,” she said. “This market’s been getting bigger and better.”

Dorsey Coleman, a 91-year-old Roswell vendor, takes great pride in his tomatoes. Echoing many merchants, he said his reason for attending the event goes beyond making money.

“My goal in life has always been to gain one more friend every day,” he said. “I come here not for the profits, but the people.”

The market is held every Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon, from May until October. More information about the market can be found at www.roswellfam.com

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