MADISON, NJ - The ribbon was cut and the 27th annual Madison Farmers’ Market opened for business on Thursday. It will be held every Thursday from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the intersection of Central Avenue and Main Street. The Madison Farmers’ Market is presented by the Downtown Development Commission (DDC) and its sponsors are Drew University, Healthy Italia, and Lakeland Bank.
The ribbon was cut by Drew University President Maryann Baenninger and Madison Borough Council President Astri Baillie. Baillie enthused that “Madison is lucky to have the Farmers’ Market. Merchants, landlords, and residents embrace the market. It brings in foot traffic and customers from surrounding towns.” Baenninger said she looks forward to the Farmers’ Market every year and that “Drew students and alumni are into buying local and sustainable products so the market supports that mission.” Farmers’ Market volunteer and member of the Borough Council John Hoover explained that there are more vendors this year than last, that it brings people downtown, and provides good, healthy, farm-to-table goods. Lisa Ellis, director of Madison Business Development, welcomed new and returning vendors. She explained that interns, who are paid by the Borough, help organize and set up the market.
Returning vendors include Alstede Farms, Melick's Town Farm, and Vacchiano Farm, who will be selling their Jersey fresh produce again this year. Also returning to the market will be: Baked With Jake, Black River Spice & Tea, Homespun Chili, The Farmer & The Chickpea, J&J's Italian Ice, Lenny's Cocina De Abuelita, The Oldwick Soup Company
Paolo's Kitchen, Patricia & Paul Artisans of Fine Oils & Balsamics, Pickle Licious, Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruits, Mexican Spice, Secret Garden Soap of Madison, and, Stefans' Pierogi, Stuffed Cabbage, Smoked Kielbasa. New vendors include Apple Ridge Farm Bakery, Bubala's Gourmet Spreads, Greater Greens (5/30), Local 130 Seafood, Meredith's Country Bakery LLC, Om Champagne Tea, and PK's Four Brothers Farm.
There will be live musical performances every week. The scheduled performers this week were unable to perform because of threatened bad weather. In addition, the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce will feature local businesses in their in their booth at the Farmers Market. On opening day, the market featured Kumon Math and Reading Center of Madison. There will be featured pop-up business and non-profits many weeks. This week Van Ryzin Designs was there. Tritown 55+ Coalition had representatives at the market. Tri-Town 55+ is a non-profit, community-based organization that partners with representatives of business, non-profit, and public agencies to address the quality of life and diverse needs and interests of older adults and their families in the communities of Chatham Borough, Chatham Township and Madison Borough. Representatives of the Madison Public Library had a table and Representatives from NJ 11th for Change will be at the Madison Farmers Market on May 23, June 20, July 18, August 15, September 19, October 17.
Parking is available in the merchant lots on Cook Avenue and Elmer Street as well as in the Central Avenue School Parking Lot after 4:00 pm on school days and anytime during the summer.
The Madison Farmers' Market offers a "Frequent Shopper Card" rewards program. Shoppers will be given a card that will be stamped with each visit to the Market after a purchase at the DDC tent. After 12 visits, the shopper will receive $10 in "Market Money".
Every week there will be fun activities for children. They will include removable tattoos, face painting, coloring pages, bead necklaces, etc. and balloons will be given away throughout the day.