WE ARE HOMETOWN NEWS.

EAST LONGMEADOW — While many farmers markets have popped up in the Greater Springfield area, East Longmeadow has lacked a bustling spot for the purchase of local produce, baked goods and more. Steven Graham, owner of The Depot at Graham Central Station, an ice cream shop and small cafe in the town center, is hoping to change that.

The Pleasant View Senior Center had approached Graham about hosting a farmers market. The center has been running a farmers market for two years, but it has not been as well attended as the East Longmeadow Council on Aging had hoped. Graham said Council on Aging Director Erin Koebler and Activities and Volunteer Coordinator Alicia Smith suggested that a more central location in the town may improve turnout for both vendors and members of the community.

Graham thanked Koebler and Smith for helping to guide him in the process of setting up the farmers market. “I’ve never done a farmers market before,” he said, adding, “I think it would be a lot of fun for the town.”

The farmers market will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for 14 Saturdays between June and August. Tables and booths will be set up on the corner of Maple Street and Maple Court, as well as the area around which The Depot’s train travels.

Graham said of the market, “Like anything, it takes work and time. We put out the call for volunteers.”

He is looking for people to reach out to farmers, bakers and other vendors who sell meats, produce, flowers, honey and baked goods. He is also open to some craft vendors and food trucks at the farmers market. More volunteers may be needed to help staff some booths.

“If we can increase the activity in our little downtown area, it would be good,” Graham said. He said it would be an example of “what a vibrant spot can be.”

A 10-foot square booth at the farmers market would cost $75 each Saturday, with $25 going to the Depot to pay for a dumpster and other miscellaneous costs, and the remainder being paid to the town for a permit. For vendors who wish to reserve a spot for the entire season, Graham said there would be a $200 flat fee to The Depot and a seasonal $75 fee to the town.

The Depot at Graham Central Station is at 64 Maple St. Interested vendors can contact Graham at 774-364-1796 or at sg@tonerplastics.com.

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