I had a great week recently exploring the greater Andover area when I heard that on Sundays the community offers a local market for people wanting local fresh fruit, veggies, baked goods, chocolate and even honey! The North Andover Merchants Association is an organization that supports the local economy by encouraging the community to “Stay Local. Shop Locally.” I did just that when I visited the weekly Farmer’s Market in July.
The Farmer’s Market began from the cooperative efforts of residents, business owners, and town officials. Workers who manage the tents are actually volunteers, many of whom are retailers in the North Andover Merchants Association. They are committed to providing a positive experience and enjoyable day for visitors and vendors alike. There are more than 20 vendors — new and old — who are excited to offer their homemade products to the public again after the pandemic shutdown. The central location in downtown North Andover was deliberately made so that it is convenient for members of the community and near to favorite local businesses, so you can visit the market and other shops in one stop.
The Farmer’s Market is open each Sunday until October 3rd from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the intersection of First & Main Street in downtown North Andover.
I met a friendly man named Kevin Miller, who was selling homemade artisan chocolates at his tent. It was a rainy day, although that did not stop the sellers and volunteers from arriving and setting up shop. What made Kevin so noticeable was his umbrella hat. He made me laugh, so I had to see what he was selling. Kevin lives in Salem, NH, but originally started making the chocolates at his home north of Boston. He commutes every Sunday to sell his homemade chocolates in person and his creations can also be purchased via his website. I could hear the passion in his voice when he told me his story and the hard work that he puts into his candy. They are extraordinary pieces with beautiful presentation and unique flavors. I bought a variety box full of sandwich cookies, gourmet chocolate barks, fruit, and wine chocolates, and much more. It is the perfect gift for someone special or just for yourself.
But chocolate was only one of the options available at the Farmer’s Market. The Purple Carrot Bread Company had a tent filled with bread, cookies and pretzel sticks, all for only two dollars. They also had yummy scones, super brownies, lemonade, and more. Singing Brook Farm, located in Groveland, MA, was there selling bouquets of flowers for only fifteen dollars. I could not believe the incredible products with such favorable prices. I learned about a lot of new places to shop and local people who take pride in their hand-crafted items.
The North Andover Merchants Association is an organization that strongly supports those in the community, local businesses, and vendors. By visiting their website, you can subscribe to the newsletter to learn more about the Farmer’s Market, sell your own products, or volunteer. It is a fun association and a wonderful way to give back. Do not hesitate to visit the market each Sunday or join the volunteer team — there’s free coffee and donuts to those who choose to volunteer!