By Jessica Webster,
The Westside Farmers Market launches Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. for its tenth season in the parking lot of Zingerman’s Roadhouse at 2501 Jackson Ave. in Ann Arbor. The grand opening festivities include a chocolate grinding demonstration with Mindo Chocolate.
Kristin Wagle, in her fourth year as market manager, said that the market usually has between 35 to 40 vendors that are part of the market, with anywhere from 25 to 30 on site each week.
“Our market is producer-only, which means that there is always someone there you can talk to about the products they are selling,” said Wagle. “Our mission is about local agriculture, and we want to make our market a place where people who do everything themselves can succeed without competition from folks who have a larger system.”
Wagle said that there is usually music and demonstrations at each week’s market. Parking is easy in the Westgate plaza lot, and the market is easily reachable by bus and bicycle.
The Westside Farmers Market gained non-profit status in 2014, thanks to a relationship with Food Systems Economic Partnership. Wagle said that this will allow the market to maintain a regular, paid staff, rather than its previous dependence primarily on volunteers.