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The Alliance Farmers' Market has much more to offer than just the usual fresh fruits and vegetables. Joe's Sourdough Breads is a great example of a vendor that sells something more and helps to make the market as popular as it is.
Owned by Rose and Joe Stellema, the first-time vendors have done pretty well at the market so far.
"I think we're doing great so far," Rose Stellema said when asked how their first season has been going.
The Stellema family has been making bread for around 10 years and decided to try selling at the market this year to see how well they would do.
Eight different types of sourdough breads are offered at their booth, including white sourdough, whole wheat sourdough and sourdough dried fruit breads. Rose Stellema makes and sells raisin bread, cranberry bread, and cherry bread, which all seem to be a favorite among the market patrons, according to Stellema. One of the more unique types of breads they make is Parmesan olive and herb sourdough bread, which sells for $8 a loaf.
All of the breads are homemade and made with local ingredients.
Breads aren't the only things Stellemas sell. For 50 cents market patrons can buy "monster cookies." Each week they try to bring different types of breads and cookies to see which will sell best. So far the chocolate chip and M&M oatmeal cookies have been a hit at the market.
According to Stellema, the hardest part so far of being a vendor is trying to figure out how much of each bread to make so there is enough to sell, but not too much that they go home with it.
Along with selling at the market, Joe's Sourdough Breads takes special orders out of their home. If patrons have a specific request for a bread they want, the Stellemas will make it fresh.
Rose Stellema said they enjoy being able to come to the market every Saturday morning and talking to the different vendors and the market patrons.
"We're here pretty much every Saturday," she said. She plans to be at the market for the rest of the market season.
Every week local organizations set up tables at the Alliance Farmers' Market to inform patrons about what their organization does in the community. This week the community table will be Hattie Larlham.
A unique aspect to the Alliance Farmers' Market is the live musicians that play every week. This week the musician will be Ryan Miles.
The Rodman Public Library bookmobile will be at the market through the end of the month.
The Alliance Farmers' Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon through Oct. 22. The market is located in downtown Alliance in the caboose parking lot at the corner of Main Street and Mechanic Avenue.
Spots are still available for community tables. For more information about the market, community tables, or to volunteer, contact Abby Honaker by call/text at 330-204-4663 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.