By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – Enthusiastic responses immediately followed a recent Facebook announcement for the new Hudson Farmers’ Market. It’s opening Tuesdays, beginning June 6, from 3 to 6 p.m., behind Town Hall at the Avidia Bank Financial Center parking lot (formerly the Citizens Bank lot). Vendors have begun processing applications before the deadline Friday, April 14, at 5 p.m.
Partnering as market managers are Kelli Calo, sanitarian at Hudson Health Department, and Pam Helinek, conservation agent and planner at Hudson Community Development. They’re encouraged by the public outpouring, Calo noted.
“We’re so pleased to have such strong support for the farmers’ market from our community,” she said. “After putting up our Facebook page, we knew that people truly want this to succeed.”
Helping to fund the effort is a grant received by the health department from MetroWest Moves, a regional Mass in Motion program to facilitate opportunities for healthy eating and activities. First, the managers researched farmers’ markets within a 25-mile radius of Hudson to determine area vendors’ schedules.
“We picked Tuesday because that’s when the vendors would be most available,” Calo explained. “On a weekday, we’re hoping to catch people on their way home from work or picking up their kids from camp. We entertained the idea of Saturday or Sunday, but there are a lot of farmers’ markets on the weekend.”
Next, they sought locations to consider. A potentially difficult process was simplified because the managers agreed on the same general area, Helinek noted.
“We definitely wanted the market to be downtown because it has become a really popular destination,” she said. “Once people go to the farmers’ market, they’re in a fun area to then go to the shops and restaurants.”
The managers’ search for a location ended successfully. Representatives of a centrally-located business approached them.
“Avidia Bank heard that we wanted to start a farmers’ market and they offered us their parking lot,” Helinek said. “They’re closing their drive-through two hours early on Tuesdays, June through October, as a public service for the market.”
The market will be open Tuesdays through Oct. 31, except July 4. It will be held rain or shine except for severe weather. Vendors can apply for the full 21-week season for $150, or per-diem for $10 a week.
The lot will accommodate up to 30 vendors and three food trucks. Each vendor space is 9 feet by 9 feet, and includes a nearby parking space for one vehicle. Food truck space is 20 feet by 10 feet for $10 per week. Full season payment is not available for food trucks.
A community booth will showcase nonprofit organizations, civic groups and government agencies. Local for-profit businesses promoting a community service project may also qualify. This booth will be free of charge for informational purposes only; first come, first serve.
The first Hudson Farmers’ Market vendor applicants are Assabet Village Co-Op Market, an initiative to open a community-owned, full-service grocery store in Maynard to serve Metrowest; Cookie Lady Treats, featuring creative cookie flavors, breads and other pastries; My Pura Vida, pure essential oils from wellness advocate Tina Marie D’Asti; Revelry Coffee Co., offering varied coffee drinks made from scratch; Say Cheese, a trailer serving gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches; and Stillman Quality Meats, a family farm that produces grass-fed, pasture-raised meats and poultry.
“We want to include a variety of items that you wouldn’t see at your average grocery store,” Calo added. “Having these unique items at the farmers’ market is a big plus to us.”