The Healthy New Albany Farmers Market is back in full swing, with nearly 50 weekly vendors in regular rotation and another 50 who will make occasional appearances throughout the season.
The market is open 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 15 in front of the New Albany branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 200 Market St.
In its 12th season, the market has been largely uninterrupted by COVID-19, said Emily Snyder, market manager for Healthy New Albany.
In 2020, it was moved to the parking lot of the Church of the Resurrection, 6300 E. Dublin-Granville Road, because there was more room for social distancing.
It resumed its regular place in the Market Square last year, but patrons were asked to wear masks if not fully vaccinated, and hand sanitizer was on almost every table.
This year’s market began June 23.
“It was really great – summer back in Market Square,” Snyder said. “People were feeling more willing to come outside and socialize without masks because it’s outdoors.”
She said a few vendors sold out of merchandise.
The market has a vast array of vendors who sell fresh fruit and vegetables, pasta, cheeses – even lotions, fresh-cut flowers, candles and spices.
Adding to the draw are food trucks, live music and cocktails, as the market is in the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, meaning patrons ages 21 and older may consume alcoholic beverages purchased at local bars and restaurants from 5 to 7 p.m. in the DORA zone.
Snyder said Healthy New Albany decided to have the market on Thursdays because so many other markets are on Saturdays and Sundays, plus other days of the week.
New this year, Healthy New Albany has started pop-up farmers markets at local businesses; for example, one is held every other Tuesday at Bob Evans corporate headquarters in the New Albany International Business Park.
Healthy New Albany also runs a winter market: the first Saturday of the month from November to March at the Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany.
The Cheesecake Connection Bakery, owned by Meaghan and Pearce Eckert of Westerville, joined the market in the last few weeks of the 2021 summer season and were there for this year’s June opening.
Pearce Eckert, who said the desserts are prepared in a licensed kitchen in Dublin, said he’s impressed with the vitality of New Albany.
“Oh my goodness, it is fabulous – the best farmers market we’ve been to since then,” he said.
He said their bakery offers 10 styles of individual and full-size cheesecakes.
“We’re always able to take special requests for things people are looking for, and if we haven’t done it before, we’re always willing to try something new,” he said.