Norcross - The Norcross Community Market is back, and with it comes flair, diversity and food, food, food. Now open Saturday mornings through August 13 from 9 am – 1 pm, shoppers can expect to find a brand new kind of farmer’s market.
“We did a survey back in January 2015, and we asked residents what they wanted to see in their farmer’s market,” said Connie Weathers, the original driving force behind the Sustainable Norcross initiative. According to Weathers, market goers indicated that they didn’t want to see home contractors, jewelry makers and other “stuff.” What they did want was true locally grown produce (not fruits and vegetables bought in Forest Park and trucked north). They wanted to see true locally-sourced dairy and meat. They wanted more variety in choices. They wanted a better location for the market (The old market used to be held near the railroad tracks in downtown Norcross, on Tuesdays), and they wanted a better day and time so that more people could shop.
On June 4 of this year, the city of Norcross answered those requests with a brand new market held in Lillian Webb Park on Saturdays. Everything sold at the market is grown, made or caught within 400 miles of Norcross, most of them closer. Sometimes blueberries are brought in by an Alabama grower, and the “shrimp man” from Valona, GA, catches his shrimp on Friday mornings for the Saturday markets. It doesn’t get much fresher than that.
“Norcross is a Greek Mayberry,” Chris said, laughing. “My mother came from a small village in Greece, and she lived there after World War II. The market was the gathering place, and the richest person in the village was the baker.” Many people in her mother’s village couldn’t afford to bake their own foods, so they took them to the village baker to cook them. “Then they'd ‘pame volta’ (take a stroll) to the taverna and share stories late into the night. That's community!” Chris said.
When pecans are harvested later this year, Chris hopes to open her kitchen to the community again, teaching cooks how to make delicious Greek baklava.
“We intentionally limited the number of days we’d open the market,” said Weathers, explaining that more variety could be offered in a market that isn’t open year-round, or even for several months. “We’re hoping to offer pop-up markets in the off- season, but people can look for more information with respect to those on the market’s website.”
For more information about the Norcross Community Market, go to www.norcrosscommunitymarket.com.