On two bright and sunny Saturdays in March, one cold and the other warm, I visited the Main Street Farmers and Artists Market in Kentlands. I normally don’t wander out so early, so it was surprising to see that the area was buzzing with pedestrians, runners and shoppers.
You may know that the market is open year-round every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Main Street Pavilion, 301 Main St., and features products from several local farms and kitchens as well as a variety of unique items handcrafted by local artisans. On the cold day, there were about eight bundled-up vendors proudly displaying their wares. On the warmer day, more vendors participated, including glassmaking artist Philip Valencia.
Since art is my first love, I was immediately intrigued by Bella’s Nicole Jewelry and Valencia Glass. The smiling Isabella at Bella’s Nicole Jewelry enthusiastically showed each customer her varied display of custom-designed jewelry, her specialty being hand-set stones. Isabella and her sister Nicole design and craft the jewelry they sell as well as clean and repair jewelry and change watch bands and batteries on site. Isabella said business has been great since she started attending the market this year.
Philip Valencia of Valencia Glass had been at the market since 6:30 a.m. that morning setting up his oven and cooling apparatus as well as an expansive display of his original glass work. A crowd watched the impressive process as Philip explained each move in the creation of a flower vase.
Other artisans included Be Admired beaded jewelry and one offering Peruvian knitwear.
Although I did not have an opportunity to try the crab cakes from Kresse’s Market, I hear they are the best. The empanadas are quite tasty—the mushroom and chicken in particular. Alan Kresse said he wouldn’t be out in the cold if they weren’t! Kresse’s Market also offers soups, scones and spreads.
Owner and pastry chef Jennifer Brown of Cupcakes Lounge had been busy since midnight baking cookies, loaf cakes, caramel turtles, chocolate-covered pretzels and other delights. Her gingersnap cookies were spicy, chewy and delicious. I also chose a small fresh raspberry loaf cake to take home; there were several other flavors available—all baked that morning. A nine-year veteran of the market, Jennifer also features her friend Ester’s sugar-free homemade granola and gluten-free bars. I have since visited her website, www.cupcakeslounge.com, and learned that she frequents many other markets in the area and crafts custom cupcakes and cakes as well.
Also out on these March weekends were Stone Feather Farms with specialty meats, sausages and fresh eggs, Tuckey’s Market with fruits and vegetables, Pheasant Hill Farm with honeys and jams and another vendor with delightfully scented soaps, lip balms and a tent of flowering plants. Crepes d’Or had quite an extensive set-up of large silver pans and an inviting menu … but I saved that to try on my next visit!
Get ready to venture out early and taste the variety of the market as more spring weather finally approaches. New City of Gaithersburg Market Coordinator Alexandra Ferguson said the opening day of the summer market is Saturday, May 5, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Gaithersburg Farmers Markets provide weekly access to locally grown and produced food, art and handcrafted goods. The city offers three markets throughout the year, including a summer farmers market at Fulks Corner in Olde Towne, the year-round Farmers and Artists Market at Main Street in Kentlands, and a Holiday Market for handmade gift items on Dec. 8 in conjunction with the Main Street Market.
Main Street Farmers and Artists Market
301 Main St.
9 a.m.–2 p.m.
Fulks Corner Farmers Market
Corner of Rt. 355 and Fulks
Thursdays, May 3 – November 15
Holiday Market at Main Street Market
Featuring handmade specialty gifts
301 Main St.
Saturday, Dec. 8
9 a.m.–2 p.m.
For updates on the Main Street Farmers Market, like the city’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/GaithersburgMarkets.