Sunday mornings in Logan Square are bustling with energy as people from all around Chicago come to buy from local small businesses at the neighborhood farmers market. From honey to produce, flowers and cheese, the Logan Square Farmers Market has grown into a place where local and lesser known shops have the opportunity to be a part of this ever growing market. This weekly and year-round farmers market is located on Logan Boulevard between Milwaukee Avenue and Whipple Street and welcomes over 200 local businesses. Sixteen years after starting with just three vendors, Logan Square Farmers Market has now been voted “Best Farmers Market” in Chicago Reader and has a significant following among Chicagoans.
While the popularity of the Logan Square Farmers Market has increased in recent years, there are many customers who have watched the market grow and continue to love their weekly visits.
Maria Bello, who grew up in Logan Square, has been coming to the market since it started. She now has created relationships with a lot of vendors and makes this a part of her weekly routine.
“I love going here, this is a lot different than the Logan Square I grew up in,” Bello said. “The atmosphere is amazing and my favorite part is the bakeries, I always make sure to stop there.”
Bello says her favorite shops are Piedt Farms, Golden Rise Bakery and Roedger Bros. Farm Blueberries, but she loves trying all of the new businesses as well.
In the lively atmosphere of shops and families with dogs running around, you can’t miss Janet Viverito’s blue tent and welcoming smile while she offers you free samples of blueberries.
Viverito, part of the family of Roedger Bros. Farm Blueberries, is one of the many vendors that consistently appear at the market each week. Viverito helps her brother sell their Michigan blueberries here in Chicago and has been working at this farmers market for 13 years.
“We’re grateful and thankful that we have a really good, loyal following, [that] has been with us for many many years, some of them since our first year here,” Viverito said. “It’s fantastic to watch their kids grow up and I’ve made lifelong friends here with other vendors and customers.”
Viverito says she considers Logan Square her favorite farmers market because of the connections she has made throughout the years.
“I buy from almost all the vendors here, I love all their products from Bot Bakery to Microgreens,” Viverito said. “We both use each other’s products, and I never go home hungry.”
Like Viverito, there are multiple vendors that have become beloved and mandatory visits for the Logan Square Farmers Market, including Chicago Honey Co-op.
Michael S. Thompson, a Illinois beekeeper, has been a vendor at the Logan Square Farmers Market since 2008 when he decided, with two other beekeepers, to make the business Chicago Honey Co-op. Along with selling at farmers markets, they also provide beehives in community gardens, and schools. They also teach beekeeping in the winter season.
Thompson says he decided to go to the Logan Square market after trying five other markets for 14 years. He picked Logan Square because the market management creates the best environment and the continuous support from customers who come back every week.
“We have people who are dedicated to our work, they tasted the honey and then never looked back,” Thompson said. “We have a list of people that we contact when we’re starting the market since we are a seasonal producer.”
With new business, competition is high for spots on the block. With its newfound popularity and consistent fan favorites, many small businesses are told they can’t fit on the already growing market.
Asia Ferrar, a baker at Sweet ‘N Dainty Cupcakery, is here for the first time this summer as an outdoor vendor. While she was here for last year’s winter farmers market, Ferrar said getting a table is a struggle because of how popular the farmers market is.
“It is difficult with so many vendors, I’ve been applying for three years,” Ferrar said. “But I’m happy to finally show my business in the warm season.”
The Logan Square Farmers Market continues to grow in popularity and attracts more vendors as well as more customers. As summer draws to a close, the farmers market is ready to continue inside for the winter months to bring cheer and fresh produce year around.