Smile Politely

Holiday Market Watch 2013: Pre-Thanksgivukkah

Last weekend’s market featured quite the bounty. I was surprised by the amount of people with hefty bags leaving the market shortly after 8 a.m. Those shoppers were on a mission to get in, get their treasures, and get on with their days. I was also pleasantly surprised by the amount of fresh, local produce available. There were kale, fennel, potatoes, cilantro, and onions. I picked up some broccoli rabe (rapini)—it was tender and delicious. There were also apples and cauliflower. Those items should be at the market this weekend, too.

In addition to the copious amounts of vegetables, there were plenty of options for sweet treats. Pekara Bakery, this week’s Vendor in the Spotlight, had a table loaded with breads, croissants, pies, and other sweet treats. Earthly Pleasures had quick breads and cookies; Sugar by Sarah had cupcakes in a Mason jar. MeMe’s Treat Boutique also had plenty of cupcakes available. Rick’s Bakery in Urbana was there, too, with plenty of breads. The options for carbs and sweets seem to be endless, so it might be worth picking up a few this weekend for a proper taste-testing, and then see about placing a special order or picking up baked goods early next week for your holiday festivities. Don’t forget to pick up some baked good for your four-legged friends, too.

Perhaps you’ve been invited to dinner by someone who prefers you don’t bring any food items. The Holiday Market has options for you, too. There are plenty of gifts for the host: jellies and jams, local honey, art-glass decorative items, jewelry, and turned-wood bowls. These unique items are sure to impress even the most difficult to please (which tend to be family members, generally).

For the chocoholic or candy lover in your life, I recommend a jar of chocolate-covered toffee from A Toffee Tale, Inc. I’m particularly fond of this toffee (dark chocolate, specifically), and your eco-friendly recipient can reuse the Mason jar.

In fact, you could probably have a jar-themed or glass-themed gift basket, if you’re into that sort of thing. There are plenty of items packaged in glass or already made of glass: the aforementioned Sugar by Sarah cupcakes, toffee, art-glass ornaments, local jams or jellies, autumn berry spread from Autumn Berry Inspired, candles, Rescued Glass Project illuminated bottles, and apple or peach butter from Campell Apiaries. It might just be the perfect gift for someone unable to come home to C-U for the holidays.

The Cracked Truck was parked outside of Lincoln Square Mall last weekend. If youhaven’t yet enjoyed a sandwich from these guys, you must. I promise braving the cold will be well worth your piping hot, delicious breakfast sandwich.

There are plenty of things to eat, taste, and discover at the Holiday Market. This Saturday’s lineup is plentiful in produce and delightful in décor and doodads.


Payment: Most vendors accept cash. A few may take personal check or credit cards, but that is less likely. There is an ATM in Lincoln Square mall.

Parking: Parking is available for free in all the lots surrounding Lincoln Square Mall.

The Holiday Market is located in Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana. It’s open Saturdays through December 21st, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

For more information about the Holiday Market, check out the Urbana Business Association.


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