By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
Later this month, the sights and smells of locally-made goods will fill the air every Wednesday afternoon.
Volunteers have spent the last several months laying the foundation for the North Attleborough Farmers Market. Annie Slobogan, co-chair of the market committee, said the plan is to have local farmers involved, as well as artisans who make everything from honey to soap. She’s been to other farmers markets and likes those featuring an array of vendors.
“That attracts families to older couples to friends,” said Slobogan. “It just creates an experience versus a shopping trip.”
The market is scheduled to open on the Town Common on June 23 and will be held every Wednesday, 5-8 p.m.
One of the goals of the new market is to attract more attention to the nearby downtown business area. It’s something that the Slobogans have been actively involved in for years. Matt Slobogan, who owns The Preservation Framer, launched the Downtown North Attleborough page on Facebook seven years ago. On this page local businesses and events are promoted, and stories of owners and how they adapted during the pandemic are shared.
“We’re actually seeing something that should have happened a long time ago finally come to light,” said Slobogan.
Slobogan said that finding the right team to help start the market was a challenge. She’s working with Co-Chair Rachel Weiss, Caitlin O’Donnell, Toni Klopfenstein, Tracey Magill, Susan Taylor, and Sarah Stone, along with Geoff McGehee, who used to be on the board of the Attleboro Farmers Market. In addition, she said that Town Manager Michael Borg has been great to work with and is equally committed.
“The first time he (Borg) met with us, he sat with us and chatted about it, heard our story and what we wanted, and then a week later he had gone to the heads of different departments,” said Slobogan.
The farmers market is partnering with Our Open Umbrella (OOU), which Stone is the founder of. The nonprofit will have a table each week to provide information on the charity and how to sign up. Stone said that the need for this and other groups that provide food has grown tremendously since the start of the pandemic, and remains so a year later. OOU began as a program to help students at Community School get food for the weekend, and has since grown to anyone in North Attleborough. Stone estimated that approximately 100 families have signed up.
“Of course you never want to say, ‘oh I hope this organization goes away,’ but I hope our organization can go away someday,” said Stone. “Because you know if it can help solve this problem of poverty in this town, and help to alleviate it a little bit, then that’s a really good day for us.”
Slobogan said that along with supporting local vendors, the market will create a sense of community after a year when people had little contact with others. She hopes to grow the market with a constantly changing lineup.
“Nothing’s more frustrating for myself, in my experience, than to go back to anything and not have it be there anymore,” Slobogan said.
To help prepare for the opening day, a Facebook page has been created, and the posts have been frequent to provide information on joining the market or updates on its progress. The organizers have been hard at work securing sponsorships, and interest is high from the people commenting on social media.
“I think when things fizzle out, is that the passion dies for the project,” said Slobogan. “So as long as we’re working together and we have passionate people for what we’re doing, it’s only going to grow more.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/FarmersMarketNA.