Farmers Market Open in Peoria

Published 06/07 2014 06:07PM

Updated 06/09 2014 04:49AM

PEORIA - Produce in your local grocery store typically comes from a variety of locations, from anywhere in the country… but one local group wants to change all of that with farmers markets.  Every year, the first Saturday of June, something special happens in downtown Peoria.

Market Manager Sharon Gramm explains, "We are a producers only market. Everything must be grown or made or raised or created within the State of Illinois."

More than 60 vendors fill the parking lot next to the River Station. They offer produce, meats and cheese, breads, fresh flowers, and lots of art. But what happens to the profits may surprise you.

"Everything that is spent here at the market goes back into the Peoria community" says Gramm.

She says the locally grown aspect is a big win with customers.

"Generally, the produce you buy at the store has traveled like 1500 miles” explains Gramm. “All of this has been picked like the night before or even early this morning and brought down here. It's as fresh as it can possibly be."

We asked vendors why they think Peorians come back year after year.

Darin Blunier of Bluehaven farms says, "They want to know who they are buying their produce from. We try to develop a relationship with all the customers and try to give them the best produce we can."

Fred Kraus of East Peoria Popcorn explains, "There's convenience and ease of shopping in shopping at a one stop shop. The variety and the specialty that is only offered here at a venue such as this is where  you want to be when you want that individual and that right product for that right occasion."

The Downtown Farmers Market is open every Saturday through September. It opens bright and early at eight o' clock.

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