By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – Delectable jams, fresh baked goods, locally grown produce and vegan and vegetarian specialties tempted shoppers June 7 as the Downtown Development Authority reopened its Farmers Market at Oakwood and Prospect.
DDA Event Coordinator Susan Louvet said most of the vendors are new to the market this year.
“We have honey and pumpkin seeds, we have Mama Subee’s Kitchen, we have baked goods, with a lot of cakes and cookies, and one of our farmers with lettuce and greens, but he’ll be bringing more things as the crops come in,” Louvet said.
Returning vendor Kim Pendygraft of Howell said she returned this season because she has a great customer base for her jams and produce. She said locally sourced produce has advantages over store-bought.
“They are much fresher, have more moisture to them, they are not dried out and there are not bugs flying all over them,” Pendergraft said.
She had herbs and bedding plants for sale, including white eggplant, tomato and cucumber. She also had fresh cilantro — which she said is good for Mexican and chicken dishes — and parsley, dill, Greek oregano and tarragon.
Pendegraft said her artisan jams have all natural ingredients, with no animal by-products, and are most are made with Michigan-grown produce, and sweetened with sugar beets, a Michigan product.
Susie Starkey-Washington of Mama Subee’s Kitchen, author of “Expect a Miracle – Look and Feel Good with Plant Based Meals” offered specialty vegan and vegetarian foods. Her Carrot Supreme includes shredded organic carrots, a vegan mayonnaise, bell peppers and seasoning, and her gluten-free nutty bars which include sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, raisins and coconuts.
“Most people are really surprised that you can get such delicious food as vegan,” Starkey-Washington said. “I always thought of vegan food as bland, but everything that I am preparing is really good. In fact, most of my customers are not vegans at all. They enjoy the taste of it.”
Louvet encourages residents to come meet the new vendors and shop from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays at Oakwood and Prospect.
“We do have new vendors, with larger offerings, but we need the people to come out and see us so that they will keep coming back every week.”
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected])