Smile Politely

Market Watch: June 21st, 2014

As far as I can tell, the line for Pandamonium Doughnuts gets longer and longer each week. Pandamonium has moved to a new location on the northwest side of the market, near the food trucks, if you’re looking for them. But honestly it’s easier to just look for the very long line. I arrived very early to the market with the hopes of getting a few chocolate gluten-free doughnuts, but the line was already really long and it didn’t seem to move at all. I finally gave up and headed to check out the rest of the market.  While the doughnut situation didn’t work out for me last week, the rest of the market had a lot to offer including peaches, strawberries, cherries, and lots of greens. I hope that the line for Pandamonium will move a bit faster next week, but their doughnuts really are worth standing in line, if you have the time (especially if you need wheat free options). Even if you aren’t a doughnut lover, the market will have plenty of things to check out.

This week, Sprouts at the Market returns with the Build-a-Snack program for kids ages 3-8 to learn about building healthy and nutritious snacks. This free program, co-sponsored by the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, runs 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and is open to all participants ages 3-8, no need to sign up in advance. The Sprouts program happens on the third Saturday of the month from May to October. To learn more about this program, check the website.

The produce has really been rolling in these last few weeks. If you visited at the beginning of the season and didn’t find much that you liked, you might want to visit again. Last week, I bought some delicious local cherries that were perfectly ripe.  I also bought some early peaches. The peaches were a bit less ripe and still on the early side, but I am looking forward to more as the season progresses. Homemade, fresh peach pie with a scoop of vanilla goat milk gelato is quickly becoming a summer tradition at my house. I also noticed that Sleepy Creek Vineyards was back as well if you haven’t had a chance to check out their wines yet. There are some new vendors coming to the market this week, including a gluten-free baked goods vendor, and another winery from southern Illinois. 

The local artisans who make crafts are out in full swing as the market progresses as well. There are a lot of vendors with one of a kind items and crafts, as well as locally made and sourced soaps and body care products. I’m a fan of the ginger peach soap from the Izard-Torres Sudsy Soaps. The kids clothes vendors at the market always have very cute items for the little ones in your life. And, of course, all the handmade toys are pretty great. If you get the chance, check out the sock monkeys!  What little one in your life wouldn’t love their own one-of-a-kind sock monkey!

Forms of payment: All vendors accept cash, and a few may take checks. There is an ATM in the Lincoln Square Mall just in case you buy so much you need a few more bucks. LINK card tokens are still available. Find information about LINK here.

Parking: Parking is available in the parking lots surrounding Lincoln Square Mall and the lot south of Illinois Street for FREE! Bike parking is also available at the entrances to the mall and at the bike corral area past the entrance to the Market off of Illinois.

Information: The market provides a lot of ways to get information. You can follow the market on facebook and twitter. Sign up for Market Mail here. There is a map of the vendors here. If you want more information, you can email Market Director Natalie Kenny Marquez or call her at 217-384-2319. And check out flickr for some great photos each week. The market also has Instagram: you can follow the feed here.

Pets: The market doesn’t allow pets, so leave your furry friends at home. But there are plenty of places to pick up a special treat for your pet so they don’t feel left out.

The Market runs from 7 a.m. to noon every Saturday through November 1.  All events are scheduled rain or shine.

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