To celebrate the long-awaited summer season (and to pick up a few treats for myself), I dropped by the new Midweek Market in Appleton, held every Wednesday afternoon from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the area right behind the City Center Plaza in downtown Appleton. A smaller counterpart to the Saturday farm market, the Midweek Market offers locally grown and made products in one convenient place. Shoppers can browse the stands for produce, crafts, food and more.
“The market has given the opportunity to so many to sell their products, to express their talents, and to showcase their abilities,” says Djuanna Hugdahl, farm market director. “Visitors can expect not only a diverse product line, but also a variety of entertainment options; from bluegrass to belly dancing, to Cajun, Latin American, and Egyptian cuisine and more.”
One booth at the market is Soap Dance, an Appleton-based line of soaps and other body care products founded by Patti Ehaney.
“My philosophy is to provide the highest-quality body care products available anywhere,” says Ehaney.
Soap Dance sets up shop at a variety of different markets in the area, and also has a convenient online shop where buyers can read about each product (including ingredients) and purchase from the comfort of their own homes. Branded as “Pure ‘n Natural,” these soaps are handmade and are packaged using unique labels. Only the best ingredients are used, and Soap Dance products are chemical- and additive-free. Also available are lip balms, lotions, creams and mists.
Riverview Gardens is another market vendor regular. Volunteers offered up fresh produce and new organic breads. Apart from their booth at the market, the organization works to combat job displacement and loss in the area by offering training to the homeless or unemployed of the Fox Valley. “The farm market is a great way to talk to hundreds of people every week about our mission,” says Hava Blair.
Finally, I stopped by Ann’s Gluten Free Bakery, which offers fresh gluten-free baked goods every week. Owner Ann Mongin also is a baker at the Green Tomato Artisan Market & Kitchen, which aims to assist producers of local edible items get their products out to Fox Valley consumers. You can find Mongin’s products at a variety of different markets in the area.
—By Mia Sato