Small businesses expand at DeKalb Farmers’ Market

Vendor Larsons County Market sells at the DeKalb Farmers Market every Thursday

Sean Reed

Vendor Larson’s County Market sells at the DeKalb Farmers’ Market every Thursday

DeKALB — From June 2 to Sept. 22, downtown DeKalb is hosting its yearly Farmers’ Market

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays in Van Buer Plaza, 148 N. Second St., enjoy local goods, crafts and more with live music and lunch hosted by food trucks. The DeKalb Farmers’ Market will also be celebrating National Farmers Market Week on Aug. 11. 

Marking its 27th year, the market hosts over 25 vendors and has partnerships with the Link Match Program, a program DeKalb started in 2015, and the Egyptian Theatre. 

“If you have a Link card, we match what you get off that card,” Virginia Filicetti, DeKalb Chamber of Commerce event manager, said. “So say you come to the information booth and you want to use $25 off Link at vendors, we’re going to match that and give you 25 more dollars so you have a total of $50 that you can use to buy fresh produce all from local vendors.”

With that, customers can buy products at well-known vendors like Larson’s County Market and Theis Farm Market which have been vendors at the market since its start in 1995. 

“There’s a lot of good customers here and it’s a really good market,” Jonathan Larson of Larson’s County Market said. “Our products are homemade baked goods. Our pies and cinnamon rolls are our main thing.”

Every product has a backstory

Each vendor has a unique backstory of how they developed a craft beneficial to their personal lives as well as their community. 

The Herbal Oracle is a veteran-owned apothecary and wellness center business. The owner, Dezarae Haley, started her business in 2006 after serving in the U.S. Army and having her first son. After birth, her son started developing eczema and went through the medical process of trying to find a solution, including steroids, Haley said. 

“When he was six months old, the doctor wanted me to give him a bleach bath and that did not resonate with me,” Haley said. 

After that suggestion, she said she started doing her own research to find and create recipes to help people with skin ailments and individuals with skin concerns. Receiving a GI bill from her service, Haley used the money to earn her associate’s degree in complementary alternative medicines. 

For Haley, being able to share her products with the community helps her find those who are also like-minded and understand the balance of Western medicine and allopathic medicine, showing that the communities work together and not against each other. 

On the other hand, Christine Miller of Willow Creek Honey gives honey a new meaning. The business started in 1979 originally as an apple orchard, but then someone suggested to Miller’s grandfather to invest in a couple of beehives, which helped the orchard bloom, Miller said. 

Sean Reed

Because of the success of her grandfather, when she turned 40, her grandfather suggested Miller start hives on her own property. 

“When my grandfather started, he was just my grandfather; he didn’t have a company name,” Miller said. “Then my dad got involved and said, ‘you gotta start paying taxes,’ so they started Papa’s Natural Honey… When I decided I view things a little different in 2017, my dad encouraged me and said to go out and be a businesswoman and I did.”

Willow Creek Honey has 250 hives in Northern Illinois counties. They make wildflower honey and create infusion flavors of all different kinds, including chocolate, lavender, cinnamon and even jalapeno. 

Raffle opportunity

During National Farmers Market Week, the DeKalb Farmers’ Market will “have raffles, so vendors donate items and gift cards and then anyone who comes to the market that day can enter the raffle for free and they can take home whatever prizes that they want,” Filicetti said.

To learn more or become a vendor, visit the market’s website, Instagram or Facebook.