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New farmers market to help revitalize Baldwin and Lake Co.

BALDWIN — People in Lake County now have a new place to get fresh fruit and vegetables. A new farmers market is opening weekly in downtown Baldwin. The market is the first of its kind for the area.

Organizers said it will help with access to healthier food and will help revitalize the community.

Jodi Nichols, executive director of the Lake County Economic Development Alliance said the new farmers market, called Pure Markette, is necessary for the county.


“It’s a big deal for Lake County because obviously we’re a very low-income county. We’re basically considered a food desert. If you look at maps of where fresh markets are available, we are a big hole in the middle,” said Nichols.

Nichols said the new market came out of the vision planning process where people were surveyed for what they wanted to see happen in downtown Baldwin and in Lake County and beyond.

“One of the very top requests or what the community saw as a need was the ability to have an outdoor gathering space in the downtown and to have some type of market outdoors that brought fresh produce and food items,” said Nichols.

Nichols said The Up North themed market, not only bypasses stores, bringing fresh produce from farm to table but also offers lots of hand-made goods made by people locally, to test the market and potentially start up a business.


“We’re hoping that some of our vendors will see that there really is a demand for what they have to sell. And we will work with them to potentially fill some commercial vacancies and give them the opportunity to have a brick-and-mortar presence here in Baldwin,” said Nichols.

Nichols said economic development is a top priority for the county and they want to continue to foster that growth.

“We’ve actually seen some growth recently, and we want to keep that momentum going. and we are a rural county. And so, it’s very much, growth is often around entrepreneurship, smaller businesses,” said Nichols.

Pure Markette volunteer manager Meredith Gremel said the first market was a success and drew in hundreds of people.


Gremel said it’s only going to get bigger and better in the future.

“We had a total of 31 vendors. We had seven farmers. But you got to remember this farming is just starting, so, every week will be adding additional farmers as more products come in off of the farms,” said Gremel.

The market runs every Wednesday from 3 to 7 behind Jones’ Ice Cream in downtown Baldwin and is followed by the Sounds of Summer Free Concert Series, held at Wenger Pavillion from 7 to 9.

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