Here for Good Market wraps up another summer – Brainerd Dispatch
BRAINERD — Labor Day weekend often serves as the unofficial end to summer.
Last Friday traffic increased through Brainerd and Baxter. The last family outings before the start of the school year. The last hurray before the fall weather sets in.
For vendors at Here For Good Market in downtown Brainerd, the end of the season was Tuesday, August 30 – the last time they set up shop on South Seventh Street before the market went out of business for the year.
Periodic gusts of wind blew, threatening some of the tents where vendors sold their wares, while folk tunes by local musician Bruce Archer echoed down the street.
Thirteen stalls lined South Seventh Street, with merchandise like jewelry, baked goods, candles, quilts, mittens, books, mugs, signs, honey, produce, meat, kombucha and CBD items.
In its second season, dubbed Here for Good Market, the weekly event run by the Destination Downtown Brainerd Coalition brought together vendors and musicians from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Tuesday to draw visitors to Downtown Brainerd .
While there are other similar farmers’ markets in the area, Marie Kirsch, owner of Knotty Pine Bakery and a member of the downtown coalition, said this one is unique because of its timing.
“We also heard from the community, like when we were trying to pick a date and time, that there were a lot of farmers markets in the community, but they all seem to be in the morning, so we decided to do an afternoon. to have more opportunities for people who work during the day and can’t make it in the morning to be able to go out and do their shopping,” she said.
Standing with puppy Leo, Kirsch set up a stand of her baked goods at one end of the market. Although not far from her Laurel Street store, Kirsch said the market has a different feel than being inside the bakery.
“We just like to come and set up shop here as another way to interact with customers and entice people to shop here,” she said.
Next to her was Charles Lewis, owner of Cholly’s Farm with his wife Molly. For Lewis, the market is a way to educate the community about its CBD and hemp products.
“We’re able to spread the word and let people know that CBD, hemp products are all natural and have been around for millions of years and everything,” he said.
Items like oils, soaps, energy bars, chocolate and lotions lined Lewis’ table, while a sign in front held information about the products and what they can do.
Across Cholly’s Farm sat Tajia Anderson, selling handmade jewelry and home decor from TCBoutique.
“It’s been OK, a lot slower than last year,” Anderson said of the market, “but we’ve had a lot of very windy days and rainy days. Tuesdays this year have been a little worse than last year because the weather did not cooperate.
Despite the weather – which caused her to tear down her tent halfway through Tuesday’s market – she still likes being able to go out and sell her stuff somewhere other than on her Facebook page. She sells at vendor shows when she has the time and enjoys meeting people who remember her for buying products in previous years.
Next to TCBoutique was Doro Schumann and his various baked goods from Sugar Sweet Baking.
Artisanal bakery, Schumann makes all its pastries at home.
“Cottage food should be sold on the internet, at farmers’ markets or at community events,” she said. “We’re kind of limited where we can sell, so farmers markets work really well.”
This year’s market has been a bit quieter than last year, she said, but it’s still a good opportunity.
“It’s nice to be here with the public, downtown Brainerd, the people,” Schumann said.
Craig and Karla Axelson were next with their natural soy products from Sugarberry Creek Candle Co.
They too agreed that the weather was a factor in attracting visitors to this year’s market, but it was still a way of getting people to know their name and product. They even met business owners interested in transporting their goods.
The northern end of the line was Clint Headley with Red Castle Fabrication.
Headley uses plasma cutting and laser engraving to create a range of products including signs, mugs, glassware and various wooden items. The business operates primarily on referrals, so the market allows for a different approach to business.
“You never know what you’re going to get for foot traffic, and everyone is looking for something different,” Headley said. “Some people don’t know what they’re looking for until they see it.”
Across the street – next to Archer and his guitar – sat Yvonne, who declined to give her last name. A designer of quilts, potholders, mittens, table runners and other handmade items, she usually sells her wares at the Centre’s gift shop or at a shop near her cabin near Duluth. Yvonne said the marketplace offered her a change of pace and another way to get her designs out there.
“I love being outdoors and meeting people,” she said.
Next, authors Joe Prosit and TJ Jones sat at a table lined with books. Members of the Lakes Area Writers Alliance, Prosit and Jones spoke with passers-by about their own works and a compilation of short stories written by a group of local writers.
“It’s always fun talking to people, even if they’re not buying anything — you’re engaging with people,” Jones said.
And it’s a different way of selling their books, a lot of which usually takes place on the internet.
“It’s kind of my first time doing something like this, so it’s a cool experience,” Prosit said. “Most of the books that sell are sold online, so it’s really cool to meet people, interact with people, you know, even if they’re not buying a book.”
Jones also appreciated being able to talk with visitors about her creative process, which is much easier to do in person rather than explaining it on Amazon.
On the other side of the writers was a cooler of meats like bratwursts, bacon, ham steak and pork chops from Island Lake Farm.
Audra Chamberlin, owner of the business with her husband Jim, visited the market four times over the summer and saw it not only as a way to market her products, but also as a benefit to the community and others. farmers.
Island Lake Farm raises non-GMO pork on pasture, also with a grain feed. They usually rely on social media and word of mouth for business.
“I think it’s really good,” Chamberlin said of the market. “Spread the product, the name, get people to look at good food and eat good healthy food, not processed food and stuff. I think that means a lot to a lot of farmers.
Next door, Christine Desmond enjoyed the atmosphere and sense of community the market brought by selling her Pine River Mittens produce.
Desmond makes his mittens from recycled sweaters, jeans and coats. Leftovers not big enough for mittens go to his gnomes. Her stand also contained earrings, which she makes from recycled jewelry.
“I love this market,” she says. “It’s a community. It has this amazing vibe. We’ve kind of built our own community because most of us are here every week, and you feel like you’re part of a more vibrant downtown than ours. So it does good. He gives off a great energy. »
She agreed with others that the unpredictable weather – like driving rain and hail – has made this year’s market a bit tricky.
“But that’s Minnesota in the summer,” Desmond said. “We have to put up with it.”
Across Desmond, Bob Nibbe was selling sweet corn, chrysanthemums, kale and decorative cabbage from Boys-N-Berries Farms.
Able to sell some of her fall produce in late summer, Nibbe started the season by selling leftover flower and vegetable plants after her greenhouse closed for the spring.
“The market starts after we close, so we tend to use it just to keep our name in front of people,” he said.
The market is a way to remind people that the business is still around and will soon have things like pumpkins available for fall.
“You can either pay for advertising or go out and do it,” Nibbe said.
Plus, sweet corn sold like hotcakes.
Jo Lange offered another treat alongside – honey.
She sold jars of unpasteurised, unfiltered and locally sourced honey from Nokay Honey on behalf of her son, Rob.
“It was wonderful to have this three hour show,” she said. “It only takes an afternoon instead of a whole day. Then being here at Brainerd is so close for us, so it was good for us to have this show.
And the market allowed more exposure for Nokay Honey and another way to get the product to consumers.
At the east end of the market, Shawn Hopman, owner of Ya-Sure Kombucha in downtown Brainerd, was offering visitors a taste of his tea.
“It kind of brings awareness to our taproom,” he said. “People who are just passing by and who don’t usually go to that end of downtown find out about us, and we just send them there to try more flavors than we have at the market.”
He said the market also allowed for more collaboration with other downtown businesses, like Kirsch, who was right across from him with his bakery.
“It’s a pretty eclectic mix (of vendors), and we hope to continue to grow in the community,” Kirsch said of Here for Good Market.
THERESA BOURKE can be reached at
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