French market

French Morton Grove Market Sets Up For Solid Season After Pandemic And Pool Construction – Chicago Tribune

Finally freed from pandemic constraints and construction on the Harrer Park swimming pool, French market backers in Morton Grove are hoping to restore normalcy to trading in the spring, summer and fall.

The third season of the weekly French Market begins Saturday, May 14 at 6140 W. Dempster, Morton Grove, in the Morton Grove Civic Center parking lot. The market plans operations on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. until October 15, except for July 2 due to the village’s July 4 celebrations.

The site had hosted a Saturday farmer’s market run by local volunteers for a decade until 2019. But Chicago-based Bensidoun Markets took over running the operation from the Morton Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry. for the 2020 season. It was just in time for the first pandemic restrictions. Next, the Morton Grove Park District began work on a season-long pool renovation on the west side of the market in 2021.

“People will generally feel more comfortable going out,” said Abbie Corrigan, marketing manager for Bensidoun USA, Inc., which operates a number of French markets in the Chicago area.

Prior to the 2020 vaccine, vendors had to place their stalls 10 feet apart for social distancing with hand sanitizer distributed at monitored gates. Masks were mandatory.

The following season, wearing a mask was voluntary, but the pool was under construction. Now the market can play on potential open pool traffic with nearby Sawmill Station shopping center half a mile to the west. It was first built in 2020.

“What really excites us is that there is no (pool) construction,” Corrigan said. “It was an eyesore with the construction trucks. The village will help us with marketing and possibly some events there. Last year a lot of people didn’t know it was open. We hope once the construction completed, people will know there is parking here.

Mark Matz, executive director of the Morton Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry, welcomes a return to normal for the market.

“The first two years they worked very hard to be part of the community and diligently followed all the protocols to keep everyone healthy while providing sellers the opportunity to share their products with our community,” said he declared.

The market, now a chamber member, will be assisted by chamber board member Rich Block, Matz said.

A French market differs from a standard farmer’s market by having other businesses present to supplement loyal produce and bakery vendors, Corrigan explained.

“We allow many local businesses — artisans and jewelry makers,” Corrigan said. “It’s a festival vibe, not just a farmer’s market. It’s more like an art fair.

“Other markets only have food vendors.”

Committed suppliers include Tamales Express, St. Roger Abbey (a French organic patisserie), John Patyk Farms and Six Generation Farms, Corrigan said. She expects live music to be included during market hours.

John Patyk Farms is located in the northwest suburb of Richmond, McHenry County. John Patyk, a Morton Grove native, leads the operation on his own “Green Acres” journey, which started his job as a vendor halfway through the Old Farmer’s Market and stayed for the French Market.

Patyk’s offerings will change with the seasons. He will begin with the blooming colors of spring grown on his 80-acre property.

“We’ll start with hanging baskets, flowers and herbs,” he said. “Then we will move further away from succulents to produce as everything starts to mature. We will have asparagus, green beans, onions, potatoes, pumpkins and winter squash. Later we will bring apples from a nearby orchard (to his farm).

Patyk is happy the calendar says 2022.

“We have to move on,” he said. “You can’t compare this to two years ago.”

The nearest Bensidoun French market is in Wilmette. Others are in Western Springs, Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Lisle, Geneva and one outside Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Interested sellers can contact Corrigan at [email protected]