Lauren Smith grew up on a farm, but when asked to help manage this Chester Farmer’s Market, her response was, “Hell no!”
She later changed her mind, explaining that it is because she was already going to be involved with the market. “I just want everybody to be happy,” she said.
Smith, 27, has been a vendor or vendor’s helper since Nicole Jordan and the Chester Community Association opened the market in 2008. She and her sister, Kristen, have helped their dad, Jerry Smith, with his vegetable stand and later branched out to offer their own items.
Smith began selling Scentsy wickless candles last year – they operate with a warmer and plug into an electrical outlet – and this year is offering Young Living essential oils.
Those are just some of the offerings at the market this year. Aside from a wide variety of veggies, other items include hand-crafted jewelry, scenic paintings, hand-woven baskets, antique-dish bird feeders, clothing for women and children, and baked goods.
Smith is still looking for vendors of bread and fresh and frozen meats.
“It’s a great family-oriented place, clean and no violence,” she said of the event, which will be held from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. Saturdays from April 28 through Oct. 27. The latter date is new this year. Previous markets ended with ChesterFest in September, but staying open through October will offer customers more chances to buy locally grown vegetables.
Vendors who register by April 28 will pay $5 for each Saturday, or they can pay $8 for an individual Saturday.
An ice cream truck will be added this year, and vendors will face out toward Chester Village Drive and Centre Street.
Smith notes that more visitors than before may need to park at the library because several nearby apartments have opened up within the past year.
Vendor applications be picked up at the Village News office, 11801 Centre St.