On Saturday, a long line of sweet-toothed dessert lovers waited eagerly between rows of tents at the Bradford Farmers’ Market for the annual Butter Pie Festival.
It was a busier than normal crowd with people of all ages standing in the hot sun waiting to get their hands on some delicious homemade pies.
A total of seven vendors were offering butter pies that day, but the busiest stall was Sweet Annabella’s Treats. The vendor sold a staggering 2,000 butter pies, ranging in flavors of maple, salted caramel, smores, bacon, and even Oh Henry! Owner Tammy Jackson won the Midland Butter Tart Festival a few years ago which has since created a huge following, establishing her as the ‘star pie baker’ by new market manager Alexa Paulous . She explains: “It’s great to have such a big crowd with us today. Most weekends we have mostly the same people and vendors, but this event is changing up a bit and bringing in a new crowd.
Paulous, who was a seller in the market last year, became the market manager this year only after the former manager resigned. She took the opportunity primarily because she is passionate about her community and enjoys planning events.
The Butter Pie Festival has been taking place at the Farmers Market for several years, but like most in-person events, the last two have unfortunately been canceled due to pandemic restrictions.
“I spoke with the board at the start of the year,” Paulous continues, “and because it’s such a popular event, it’s something we’ve decided to bring back and hopefully , to continue doing for years to come.”
The market, held every Saturday from spring to fall, regularly features a craft table for children, live music from local musicians, friends from the library community group, local businesses selling produce homemade and, of course, farmers selling their produce and crops. Paulous made sure to accommodate the largest number of participants by adding games and activities for children, while vendors prepared their best items in larger quantities.
This would be the busiest year for the Farmer’s Market, with the highest number of vendors, which shows how much the community, both business owners and customers, appreciate the social interaction of week to week. Paulous is grateful for the participation.
“Thank you all for coming, for everyone’s hard work, our loyal sellers and our customers for their local support,” she said.
The long-term plan is to expand with even more vendors and more events in the years to come; this includes the possibility of a Christmas market taking place inside the library in the month of December. Before that, look for other exciting events in the market, including a fishing festival in August, September will have a carnival-themed family festival, and October will have a harvest festival to close out the year.
The Bradford Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday in the Bradford Library car park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. until October 8.