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Waukesha Farmers' Market Expands in a Big Way for 2012 Season

With nearly double the vendors from 2011, the Waukesha Farmers' Market kicks off on Saturday near the Fox River.

The Waukesha Farmers’ Market is reaching new levels this year as it’s nearly doubled from approximately 60 vendors in 2011 to 103 vendors in 2012.

“We could have actually accommodated about 140 vendors if we had the space,” said Business Improvement District Executive Director Meghan Sprager. “We had that much interest.”

The Waukesha Farmers’ Market kicks off this weekend in downtown Waukesha on Saturday.

The 103 vendors will be located along the Fox River walk between North Barstow Street and West Broadway. It will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through the end of October. The market has the possibility to run two weeks into November, depending on the weather.

“It just depends on the growing season,” Sprager said. With the hot weather we have had this year, it is hard to know where we will be at (by the end of the season).”

The Farmers’ Market, with its expansion, has a plethora of new vendors. New this year will be Leather Restoration where people can drop off their leathered goods one weekend and pick up the repaired or re-tanned goods the following weekend.

A knife sharpening vendor will repair cutlery while people are shopping in the market. The vendor also plans to hold demonstrations throughout the season.

The Old Tavern Food Products, a Waukesha business on South Prairie Ave., will be selling cheese.

“Obviously their product is loved,” Sprager said. “We are very excited that they are a new vendor. They are going to be an asset to the market.”

Another cheese factory, Renards Cheese of Door County, also will make its debut in this year’s market. Two goat meat vendors – one returning and one new – will be present throughout the season.

“It was in huge demand throughout the market season,” Sprager said about the 2011 season. “The vendor actually ran out of goat meat to sell.”

One of the goat meat vendors also will sell sheep, bison, pork and other specialty meats, according to Sprager.

Located along a picturesque Fox River walk, the Waukesha Farmers’ Market’s become more than just about the vendors selling their produce.

“The market adds to the vibrancy of the downtown on Saturday mornings,” Sprager said.

A 2008 study conducted by UW-Waukesha showed that the people attending the downtown market typically spent between $11-$15 in the market. Of the 191 people surveyed, 86 percent of them planned to spend $16-$20 in the downtown area.

“Stay in the downtown and have lunch and shop and learn about what we have to offer,” Sprager said.

Vanessa Johanning May 03, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Awesome! I am totally looking forward to it!!
the 'sha guy May 03, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Just to be clear, the farmer's market in Waukesha is a great asset to our city and downtown. However, how does the farmers market come to be a drop off location for repairs to be made, ie Leather Restoration or knife repair? Isn't the market meant for locally produced goods and crafts? Could the watch repair shop open a booth to drop off watches? Could the shoe repair guy open a booth for shoes? Could their be a jewelry repair booth? Maybe Best Buy could open a computer drop off booth for electronics? I'm not saying it shouldn't be allowed, but I think they should certainly have some guidelines as to what will be accepted. Growing the farmers market is a good thing for Waukesha. However if it is made up of repair merchants and other downtown businesses, it will quickly turn into a mini 7 mile fair.
superdavefive May 05, 2012 at 02:28 PM
@ the 'sha guy: I just came back from the farmers market and the folks from Leather Restoration had a booth where they had items for sale. They did not look to be looking for items for drop off. The sharpening booth was actually pretty popular. I was impressed and plan to bring a few things to them next weekend. Ironically I do have an axe to grind. Thank you to Patch for coming out to the market. I appreciate the bag, pen, magnet and overall good cheer!
Vendorguy May 07, 2012 at 04:07 AM
I come because that's where the Waukesha community shops. I have great market vendor neighbors and family and friends meet me there. Ocassionally I even have dogs that want to stop by my booth. Waukesha's market is fabulous. Run by a great team of people from the Business Improvement District, they keep it clean and troublefree!

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