There are twenty Farmers Markets in neighborhoods throughout the City of Chicago. With all the demands upon farmers and the high cost of fuel during the summer of 2008, you have to be very appreciative of the farmers that make the market possible. For the Eli’s/Wright College Farmers Market, our “iron man” has been Chad Nichols and Nichols Farms of Marengo. Offering an outstanding selection of fresh fruits and vegetables on our Thursday market that started in mid-June and continued through the end of October, Chad has developed a loyal following from the Portage Park, Dunning, Harwood Heights and Norridge
One of the amenities for our guests at the Eli’s/Wright College Farmers Market is a complimentary continental breakfast between 7 and 9am for market shoppers. We developed a regular group of families, seniors and commuters who made the Eli’s/Wright College Farmers Market the way they started Thursday mornings. For our closing market on Thursday, October 30th, Eli’s Master Gardener and Market Manager Kathy Kirby, Eli’s Executive Vice President, Jolene Worthington, and Jennie Doezie created a special breakfast buffet.
Nichols Farms of Marengo has developed a reputation for being one of the region’s best operated and most innovative specialty farm and orchard. We are very grateful for for the support of the Nichols Family and Chad Nichols (along with his associate, Carol) who is with us every Thursday and has developed a tremendous repertoire with our neighbors. The Eli’s/Wright College Farmers Market was so successful this year that Chad has agreed to start an early market in mid-May with fresh flowers.
From day one, Eli’s has partnered with Wright College to operate and promote the market. We are grateful to Victoria Cooper, the head of Environmental Technology at Wright, who has been our partner with the Chicago High School of Agricultural Sciences Food Entrepreneurship Summer Program as well as seeing the potential for a market in our community. Above, Marc Schulman thanks Alba Pezzarossi, the head of Continuing Education at Wright and Mary Lou, the market coordinator for Wright, for their support and initiatives during the summer. Each week, Wright provided entertainment and educational and family
programs using the resources of the continuing education department.
One great addition to the Eli’s/Wright Farmers Market was the summer long participation by Drusilla Banks of the University of Illinois Extension. Housed at Wright, Drusilla brought Master Gardeners and Master Food Preservers to the market on a weekly basis as well as working with students from CHSAS during the summer entrepreneurship institute.
One of Eli’s greatest and most worthy partners is the New
Horizon Center for the Developmentally Disabled. New Horizon students come over
regularly to participate in the market as guest and also to sell their crafts.
Above Eli’s Chef Antonio Rivera and Eli’s Controller Helen Sullivan welcome
Carol Kilcoyne, Executive Director of New Horizon, to the closing farmers market