America’s Favorite Farmers Market stays fresh

Chef Robin Toldo is pictured with the future staff of her soon-to-be-open storefront on Post Dr. in Belmont, right next door to Flo’s Italian Restaurant. The precocious Toldo kids, too numerous to name, assist Mom at market in the selling of her “Hummalicious Hummus.” Photo by CLIFF HILL

Not willing to rest on its laurels the Rockford Farm Market – America’s Favorite – has added four new regular vendors to its already stellar cast.

Filling in the blanks and taking the Market to the next level are relative newcomers as follows:

Rockford resident Chef Robin Toldo needs no introduction, her cooking skills are well known to the Rockford community. Robin invites everyone to experience “hummus as never before” at Rockford’s Farm Market. In her booth, next to Great Harvest Bread, she vends 4 varieties of hummus that add a whole new gourmet twist for hummus lovers. Made completely from scratch and composed of 100% fresh natural ingredients, they contain no preservatives or coloring. All natural ingredients equal all natural fresh gourmet taste. Robin calls it HUMMALICIOUS! Don’t take her word for it, sample her offerings yourself at the Market on Saturday mornings.

Vonnie Engelsma, of Masiy’s Pie Company, has got a pie (and other baked goods) for you! Photo by CLIFF HILL

Local resident Vonnie Engelsma, owner of Maisy’s Pie Company, caters to everyone’s sweet tooth. Vonnie has a life-long love affair with baking – pies that is. She learned her craft at the knee of her beloved Grandma Maisy. At her market booth Vonnie offers hand made pies and other sweets just like Grandma used to make. Using only the best ingredients and baking in small batches ensures fresh high-quality products. Along with pies of all varieties and sizes, customers will find popovers, tarts, cookies, cupcakes, and more – just ask! Special orders can be placed for pick up the following week.

Celiac disease or wheat allergy concerns? No problem! Rockford residents Kristy Naumann and Emma Darling, the Gluten Free Ladies, have the baked goods to fill your special needs. The ladies are storehouses of knowledge on the subject and are more than happy to answer any and all questions along with offering up really tasty and healthy gluten free products. They also offer “Gluten-free(dom)”, a spiral bound recipe book for gluten-free living.

Kristy Naumann (left) and Emma Darling (right), the “Gluten Free Ladies,” offer up gluten-free baked goods along with support and knowledge. Photo by CLIFF HILL

Partners Steve Bowyer and Ryan Raredon, of “The Local Epicurean”, used America’s Favorite Farm Market last summer to test market their handcrafted and organic herb infused pastas. In part because of their huge success in Rockford, the pair opened a storefront early this year on Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids. Back this year at Rockford’s Farm Market, they are featuring many of the 42 different (some gluten free) pastas they create. All of their of their pastas are 100% organic and handmade with only the finest locally grown and sourced ingredients ensuring the highest quality.

The Local Epicurean’s John Nowak brings a variety of organic herb-infused and handmade pastas to market every Saturday morning. Photo by CLIFF HILL

Yes, West Michigan farmers have suffered thus far this year through one of the worst growing seasons on record. You name it, 85-degree temperatures in March followed by hard frosts in April and then severe early summer heat and drought have caused farming hardships on an unimaginable scale.

Through it all the Rockford Farm Market sails on with soaring attendance! Our local farming families persevere and are somehow bringing the eclectic abundance of Michigan agriculture to market. They deserve our support and our patronage.

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