FRANKENMUTH, MI – April 12 was a monumental day for the Frankenmuth Farmers Market with one pre-planned announcement and also a very unexpected one. Not only was the Market’s new building “crowned” with a very special surprise, but the 12-year-old establishment was also “crowned” as one of the ten best “must visit” farmers markets in Michigan! “For eleven years, we served the region by setting up and taking down tents, tables, and more every single Market day. On this day, to see the crowning jewel of our weathervane be placed on the permanent roof that will soon house us, and then to be so unexpectedly and generously included among the top ten markets to visit in the state, we are humbled beyond belief. Our Market has come so far and grown so tremendously thanks to its organizers, our dedicated farmers, and our loyal followers. This is a landmark day we will long remember. It is almost incomprehensible how a grassroots dream for locally grown food by just a few folks has grown into such a respected and nurturing environment for small farmers and those who benefit from their labors. We are grateful and humble and still look forward to our 12th Opening Day with the same spirit and conviction to our Market Mission,” commented Market Manager and founding member of the Market Laurajeanne Kehn.
The now historic day of Tuesday, April 12 began with the revealing of the Market’s weathervane and cupola as it was hoisted and installed on the Market Building. The weathervane now crowns the yet-under-construction facility which will house the Incubator Kitchen, Farm Store, Gathering Barn, and more. General contractor Wm. Bronner & Son along with Gilmour Construction partnered together in placing the cupola on top of the building designed by TSSF Architects, Inc. This “surprise” element of the building was left off of all schematics and graphic renderings shown to the public so far. This secret was unveiled to all yesterday morning. Media coverage of the surprise event was very generous.
To create the 8’ tall weathervane, Market organizers commissioned local blacksmithing artist David Holtslander, a long-time Market supporter. The stainless steel piece features the sun, moon, stars, and water, symbolic of the natural elements and seasons of planting, growing, and harvesting produce. The colors of these features were created by a powder coating process. In keeping with the Market’s intent to source everything as locally as possible, Holtslander worked with Bridgeport Powder Coating, Masters Tool and Die, Ponder Industrial, and Weber Steel, who were all instrumental in the weathervane’s fabrication. After two months of working on and off on the piece, upon the installation, Holtslander commented that, “This building will be absolutely beautiful. The Market’s organizers have worked long and hard to get here, and I’m proud to have a part in this project that will be truly beneficial to all, in a beautiful community that has always been supportive of ornamental metal work.”
Later that day, the Market was also crowned as one of the top ten must-visit farmers markets in the state of Michigan by OnlyInYourState.com, a popular website that “takes a fun, informal approach to helping readers discover things to do in each of the 50 states.” The site is read by over 30 million people each month. The Frankenmuth Market was commented on for its covered pavilion, Gathering Barn, Farm Shop, and Incubator Kitchen for food production as “having your bases covered – whether you’re a consumer or making and growing the food yourself.” The alphabetical listing includes markets in Ann Arbor, Bay City, Birmingham, Grand Rapids, Detroit’s Eastern Market, Flint, Lansing, Marquette, and Royal Oak. “We are so thankful and honored to be mentioned in this list, especially considering all the numerous and wonderful 330 markets that serve our state,” commented FFM Marketing Manager and past/co-founding president of the Michigan Farmers Market Association, Dietrich Bronner.
The Market is set to open under its new Pavilion May 14. The Market will run 8am to 2pm Saturdays May 14 to October 15 and 3-7pm Wednesdays June 8 to October 12. The Market is located at 534 North Main Street, next to Market sponsor Frankenmuth Credit Union. The Market’s Christkindlmarkt will operate November 25-27 and December 2-4 again at its original downtown location next to Harvest Coffeehouse. The Market is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing and promoting the values of local food and products in an effort to strengthen and preserve our economy, agriculture, and sustainability. To learn more, please visit www.frankenmuthfarmersmarket.org or the Market’s Facebook page.