Small businesses thrive at the DeKalb Farmer’s Market
DeKALB — From June 2 through September 22, Downtown DeKalb hosts its year farmers market.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays at Van Buer Plaza, 148 N. Second St., enjoy local produce, crafts, and more with live music and a lunch hosted by food trucks. The DeKalb Farmer’s Market will also be celebrating National Farmer’s Market Week on August 11.
Marking its 27th year, the market hosts over 25 vendors and has partnerships with the Link Matching Programa program launched by DeKalb in 2015, and the Egyptian Theatre.
“If you have a Link card, we match what you get from that card,” said Virginia Filicetti, events manager for DeKalb’s Chamber of Commerce. “So let’s say you come to the info booth and want to use $25 off Link at the vendors, we’ll match that and give you another $25 so you have a total of $50 that you can use to buy fresh produce all from local vendors.”
With this, customers can purchase products from well-known vendors like Larson County Market and Theis Farm Market which have been sellers in the market since its launch in 1995.
“There are a lot of good customers here and it’s a really good market,” said Jonathan Larson of the Larson County Market. “Our products are homemade pastries. Our cinnamon pies and buns are our main asset.
Every product has a story
Each vendor has a unique story of how they developed a craft that benefits their personal life as well as their community.
The Herbal Oracle is a veteran-owned apothecary and wellness center business. Owner Dezarae Haley started her business in 2006 after serving in the US military and having her first son. After the birth, her son started developing eczema and went through the medical process to try to find a solution, including steroids, Haley said.
“When he was six months old, the doctor wanted me to give him a bleach bath and it didn’t affect me,” Haley said.
After this suggestion, she said she started doing her own research to find and create recipes to help people with skin issues and people with skin issues. Receiving a GI bill from her department, Haley used the money to earn her associate’s degree in complementary alternative medicine.
For Haley, being able to share her products with the community helps her find like-minded people and understand the balance between Western medicine and allopathic medicine, showing that communities work together, not against each other.
On the other hand, Christine Miller of Willow Creek Honey gives honey a new meaning. The business originally started in 1979 as an apple orchard, but then someone suggested Miller’s grandfather invest in some beehives, which helped the orchard flourish, Miller said.
Due to her grandfather’s success, when she turned 40, her grandfather suggested that Miller start beehives on his own property.
“When my grandfather started, he was just my grandfather; he didn’t have a business name,” Miller said. “Then my dad got involved and said, ‘You gotta start paying taxes,’ so they started Papa’s Natural Honey…When I decided to look at things a little differently in 2017, my dad started me encouraged and told me to go out and be a businesswoman and I did.”
Willow Creek Honey has 250 hives in northern Illinois counties. They make wildflower honey and create infusion flavors of all kinds, including chocolate, lavender, cinnamon, and even jalapeno.
During National Farmers’ Market Week, the DeKalb Farmers’ Market “will be holding raffles, so vendors give away items and gift cards, and then anyone who comes to the market that day can enter for free. in the raffle and take home the prizes they want,” Filicetti said.
To find out more or become a seller, go to the market website, instagram Where Facebook.