Locals roam through the Kennedy's Country Gardens greenhouse among vendors and flowers, picking up everything from gluten-free cookies and breads to seaglass jewelry and drawings of botanical flowers.
In the past, the Scituate garden center was open just twice a year for the Winter Fest and Spring Art Show. But now, there's a farmers market every Sunday in the winter months.
Located inside the center in the warm and plant-filled greenhouse, Kennedy’s opened its doors in October for the festivities for the first time this year.
Word had yet to spread at that time, and customers trickled in like water from a leaky faucet.
Now, after a few months of being up and running, the pace is picking up. Locals are drawn to the array of vendors in the greenhouse and the feel-good mantra of buying local, employees said.
Kennedy’s will round out 2011 with this Sunday’s Holiday Market, and will resume in 2012 on Sundays from Jan. 8 through March 25.
For Thea Nestervich, a Kennedy’s employee and the farmers market manager, having a place for people to go to shop local in the winter months is increasingly important.
“It’s very important to plant the seed and … keep it in people’s regular routine and not have it broken, so people will continue [to shop local] year round,” she said.
Although this is the first time Kennedy’s has done a winter holiday market, Nestervich expects it to be popular.
Currently there are 22 vendors signed up, ranging from The Great Cape Baking Company, which will serve fresh hot apple cider donuts, pre-order holiday breads, artisan breads and maple syrup; M.E. Sinatra Design, known for recipe art, note cards and holiday placemats; The Roman Table, selling olive oils, vinegars, and fine linens; and Holly Hess Designs, marketing hand made baby products.
“Everybody is all excited about it,” Nestervich said. “Unfortunately [with the holiday market], I went against my rule of 75 percent food and 25 percent incidentals, but for this upcoming year, I want to make sure it’s a farmers food market. We’ll do it on a rotating basis [with the other vendors]. That’s my goal, and I hope I can stick to it.”
The idea for a market initially came to Nestervich when she was in Falmouth. After seeing a similar arrangement in Mahoney’s Garden Centers, Nestervich knew Kennedy’s had to do one in Scituate.
“I think we have such a beautiful facility that is around plants and live things, and people just come into our greenhouses during the winter doldrums, you get a cup of tea or coffee, you walk through, and it soothes your soul and warms up your bones,” Nestervich said. “Having these greenhouses that are vacant – because we don’t grow here, we have this vacant space - it’s a win/win. You have new people come in, help out the community, and support the community.”
It wasn’t before long that the center had compiled a list of local vendors and set up a new market on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Although it’s gained more success in recent months, Nestervich says she still worries that people won’t show up.
“Tony Bennett always said if you’re nervous before a performance, you’re still on your game. If you’re not, you’re cooked. And I’m nervous before each farmers market. When those people show up at the door at 11 a.m., I have a sign of relief!” she said.
The market will be open Sunday, Dec. 18 from 11 a.m. till 3 p.m. and will open again during the same hours starting Jan. 9.
Holiday Market vendors will include:
Sea glass jewelry and accessories
Moonlight Rose Alpaca
Alpaca fiber hats, gloves, socks, mittens and scarves;
Silverbrook Farm from Dartmouth MA
Root Vegetables and in season produce
Fresh eggs, cheese, jams and jelly and wine stoppers
Mama Stella Spices
“Authenically You” Power snacks - holiday power snack made with cranberries and walnuts
Vegan and gluten free biscotti’s and cookies
Brooke Stanton Designs
Hand dyed Silk Scarves
Irving Crock Cheese Spread
Five to seven Different Flavors
Unique art using pebbles, sea glass and sea life from Humarock beach
The Cape Cod Lady Catering
Wood Products by David Knight
Exotic wood cutting boards, salad tongs and other products
Goat Milk Soap
Ob la da
Pre-order Pies, cookie trays, holiday Yule log, cupcakes, hot chocolate, hot Coffee
For more information on Kennedy's Country Gardens, located on 3A in Scituate, click here.