By Ethan Duran
The Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market is opening November 3 at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory on South Layton Boulevard. The Conservatory, popularly known as The Domes, will house around 50 vendors weekly from November 3 to March 30 of next year. Vendors from local farms will sell fresh produce, meat and dairy products while local food vendors will serve up products like maple syrup, baked goods and pastas.
Katie Hassemer, Director of Farmers Markets for Fondy Food Center said that there will be five vendors preparing hot foods in the Conservatory, and four of them will work full time. Among the names are brisket sandwich specialists Junior’s Smoked BBQ and Vi Nai Café, serving their famous curry noodle soup and other Southeast Asian foods. The Winter Market is bringing in the Tulsi Tea House and Café which will feature a vegetarian menu after customer requests for more vegetarian options.
Eating local longer is the Winter Market’s mission statement, as a majority of the businesses there will be representing vendors and food sources from Milwaukee and the Southeast Wisconsin area.
The Fondy Farmers Market—also ran by Fondy Food Center—is the first market in the state of Wisconsin to take QUEST cards and food stamps for purchases. This is going to be extended to the Winter Market again.
On top of the heaps of food being sold at the Conservatory, the Winter Market’s sponsors from Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin will hold prize wheels and hand out recipe cards to the winners. During previous years, the Winter Market had partners like the Victory Garden Initiative and the Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative who handed out information and free items like seed packets.
Hassemer, who often shops at the Winter Market herself, said that the best part of the market is connecting her food to who grew and produced it.
“Everyone needs to eat and a lot of different people work hard to make food,” Hassemer said. “Their livelihood depends on customers and our health depends on them. That sort of connection is beautiful.”