Farmers’ Market less busy: vendor

By Mitchell Spence

The Sycamore Farmers’ Market has had busier years, according to some returning vendors.

The Farmers’ Market, 300 W. Elm St., is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Sunday until Sept. 28.

Returning vendor Theis Farm II appeared to have the largest produce selection Sunday, but owner Barb Pondelick said this year hasn’t been as busy as usual.

Theis Farm has participated in the Farmers’ Market since it first opened to sell produce, and it has built up a loyal customer base, Pondelick said.

“It’s been slower here this year. I met a guy who had lived in [Sycamore] for four years and didn’t know it [the Sycamore Farmers’ market] was here,” Pondelick said. “Our farm is 4 miles away so we come here to promote business at the farm.”

New to the Farmers’ Market this year is Christine Miller from Willow Creek Honey Farm. She offers homemade honey and honey products. Miller said she has brought her products to Sycamore from Shabbona to sell every Sunday this year despite larger Farmers’ Market’s elsewhere.

“When we were looking for markets my grandfather wanted to go east to [where] all the people are, but this is my community,” Miller said. “I’ve had people that come back and buy something different every time. I was kind of surprised by that loyalty.”

Another new vendor this year is Ecoviolet, which sells natural and organic handcrafted soaps. Gus Vallejo and his wife, Janet Vallejo, work hard to make enough soap to keep up with demand at the market, Gus Vallejo said.

“We started with six or seven products and now we’re up to 11 or 13,” Gus Vallejo said. “We want as much foot traffic as possible, but relative to the size of the market it’s been OK.”