The Village of Thiensville Farmers Market will return this June at a new location with a new focus on drawing more people and offering a broader supply of food harvested by local farmers and goods crafted by local residents.
The market, which dates back to about 1990, has been in decline the past few years without much oversight or organization. In recent years, it has consisted of a couple of farmers’ stands with tents.
This year, the Thiensville Business Association is taking a more proactive approach to pull together a farmers market experience that is family friendly, brings the community together and slows patrons down.
“What we’re hoping to do is to create an environment that’s more of an experience for people,” said Marc Mrugala, Thiensville Business Association president.
The market, which will relocate from a vacant parking lot on Main Street to the Village Park on Elm Street near the Milwaukee River, will feature food demonstrations, coffee vendor options, meat vendors, dairy vendors, bread vendors, and arts and crafts.
Additional amenities will include electricity, onsite restrooms and potentially live music.
“We’re completely revamping it,” Mrugala said.
In revamping the market, the Thiensville Business Association will ensure the market is well worth the farmers’ time and efforts.
“We need to make sure that if they’re out there investing their time and energy that it’s profitable for them,” Mrugala said.
The Thiensville Business Association also aims to put Thiensville on the map through the community-wide market.
With a population hovering just above 3,200, according to the 2010 census, the village has not developed a strong business reputation or gained much attention from people passing through the downtown.
According to farmers market chair Jesse Daily, owner and partner of Thiensville-based Core Consulting, between 7,000 and 20,000 commuters travel through the village each day.
“We’re really trying to capitalize on that and direct people to where our market is,” Daily said.
To promote the new and improved market, Daily has led a marketing initiative with the help of 20 community volunteers. Along with issuing direct mailing and creating signage, the team has developed a Facebook page and is in the process of setting up an account on LinkedIn and designing a Webpage for the market. Daily has also arranged for the Thiensville farmers market to become part of the Farm Fresh Atlases of Wisconsin.
The marketing team has also established a partnership with the Thiensville-Mequon Lionfest where team members will promote farmers market changes. The festival runs June 7-9, the week before the market debuts.
“We want it to be the best farmers market in the greater Milwaukee area,” Daily said.
The farmers market, which will be funded by individual vendor stall fees with additional support from the Thiensville Business Association, will run every Tuesday from June 11 to Oct. 29. The market will be operated in two shifts, one from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a second from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., to accommodate working professionals.
Vendors interested in participating can contact Daily at ThiensvilleFM@gmail.com. Businesses interested in contributing sponsorships to the market can contact Mrugula by phone at 262-242-2830.