Featuring More Than 30 Food Vendors Through April

Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer / Mike Thierwechter and provided

Three years ago, Mark Demerly and Barbara Wilder organized the Broad Ripple Winter Farmers Market. Their biggest challenge with a winter market was making sure they could deliver locally grown products, such as meat, eggs and vegetables, to their customers throughout winter’s duration (the market runs from December through April).

“Would chickens still be laying eggs? Could vegetables grow?” wondered Demerly, who was thrilled to find several farmers who grew products in hoop houses or greenhouses to be able to meet market demands.

“The location makes for a great neighborhood gathering place with easy access for customers to purchase a wide variety of fresh farm-to-market products,” says Jim Baughman, owner operator of Freedom Valley Farm.

This year the market will feature 30 strictly food vendors. Several of them alternate with others on a bi-monthly basis.

“Given the limited space, we didn’t want to clutter it up or compromise food vendors for craft vendors,” says Demerly, eager to provide a nice blend of products, which includes breads and baked goods, dairy and cheeses, fruits and vegetables, and meat, fish, poultry and eggs. In the mood for kombucha (a fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea), nut butter, fresh pasta, grilled pizza, marmalades, mushrooms, pickles, pies or pastries? Interested in gluten-free options, gourmet chocolate, goat cheese, charcuterie or smoked sea salt? Come on down.

“This compact market, full of all the best vendors, is a wonderful place to keep in touch with our summer Broad Ripple regulars,” says Kelly Ryan, owner of Lick Ice Cream.

The Winter Farmers Market takes place on Winthrop Avenue inside the Bent Rail Brewery — an ideal mid-town venue that offers space, food and beer.

“The brewery serves a great breakfast,” Demerly says. “Plus, this will be the first year we’ll have beer at the market.”

Zach Rohn, owner of Batch No. 2, likes that the location sits a little more central to the city and is close to a wide range of communities. “We’ve come to know many of the vendors and love the sense of community between stands,” Rohn says.  

Broad Ripple, the only Indianapolis community to hold a Farmers Market that’s open every weekend except Thanksgiving, is intent on not leaving a gap between seasons.

“It’s really interesting because during the fall, all of our customers were like, ‘When does the winter market start?’ No one wanted to lose out,” Demerly says.

It’s a fun, festive, kid-friendly atmosphere, complete with top-notch musical acts and stellar food. Demerly especially loves watching little kids’ faces when they bite into fresh produce.

“They taste Baughman’s carrots, for instance, which are so sweet, and they squeal, ‘I never knew a carrot could taste like this!’” Demerly says. “The flavor enhancement of these fresh local foods is indescribable.”

The Winter Farmers Market runs from 9 a.m. until noon every Saturday until April. For more information, visit broadripplefarmersmarket.org.

Winter Farmers Market Vendors

From frozen salmon to fresh cider, from raw honey to artisanal breads, these vendors offer something for everyone. The complete list is below:

  • Amelia’s Bread
  • Batch No. 2
  • Bettini Pasta
  • Byrne’s Pizza
  • Caprini Creamery Goat Cheese
  • Circle City Kombucha
  • Circle City Smoke
  • Eagle Creek Apiary
  • Freedom Valley Farm
    Full Hand Farm
  • Home Ec Preserves
  • Hubbard & Cravens Coffee & Tea
  • Johnnie Raber Family Farm
  • Lick Ice Cream
  • Native Bread
  • Old Major
  • Phelps Family Farm
  • Pots & Pans
  • Primal Delights
  • Red Frazier Bison Ranch
  • Rene’s Bakery Inc.
  • Revival Foods
  • Risin’ Creek Creamery
  • Russell Sheep Company
  • Schacht Farm
  • Shamrock Farm
  • Simple Taste
  • Tulip Tree Creamery
  • Turchetti’s Salumeria
  • Wild Alaska Salmon & Seafood
  • Wild’s Apple Farm
  • Xchocol’Art Gourmet Chocolate

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