Stratford, WI (OnFocus) Support local growers at the Stratford Farmers Market, returning on Wednesdays this summer.
The market was founded as a nonprofit in 2012 by Bryan and Stacey Weichelt as a way to provide a place for growers to sell their products and promote healthy living in their small town.
“Many larger communities offer farmers markets, including Madison, which hosts the largest farmer-only farmers market in the nation,” said Bryan. “Yet, smaller communities often struggle to find the farmers and growers willing to sell and attract enough customers each week to make it worth their while.”
The number of vendors varies from year to year depending on the growing season. Vendors are never charged to set up a spot.
“If we want to have the farmer vendors in Stratford, we had to think creatively for our recruitment and retention strategies,” Bryan said. “In some ways we compete with markets in larger communities — communities that have more foot traffic, more customers, and thus more sales at their markets.”
Sponsors, some of which have been supporters since the beginning, cover costs for insurance, signage, advertising, health promotion, and vendor recruitment efforts. The Weichelts volunteer their time to set up and promote the market, providing regular updates on the market’s Facebook page.
Shoppers are encourage to chat with the farmers, who are passionate about what they do and happy to answer questions and share their knowledge.
“Customers can feel good about buying products that have been grown or produced in our area, whether they’re shopping for fruits and veggies, maple syrup, honey, flowers, meats or other agricultural products,” said Bryan.
As it enters its 8th season, the Weichelts are proud to be part of their community’s story.
“Stratford is a strong and growing community, filled with kind and generous people,” Bryan said. “Stratford is home to farmers and ranchers, Olympic gold medalists, writers, doctors, nurses, skilled craftsmen, artists, leaders, and entrepreneurs. The schools are fabulous, both their educational and extra curricular programs. We are excited and humbled to be a part of the community’s rich history and the future growth.”
From June to September, the market will be located in the Stratford Homes parking lot at 402 South Weber Ave. Follow the market at www.Facebook.com/StratfordFarmersMarket.