Market season starts Saturday
SATURDAY’S MARKET SCHEDULE
Minturn Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Avon Market, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Edwards Corner Market, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
EAGLE COUNTY — Market season begins Saturday with a busy schedule: markets in Minturn, Edwards and, new this year, Avon.
Will market-goers make a day of it and hit all three? Will each market find its own niche and clientele? These were questions on Liz Rackoff’s mind as she made the decision to bring her Batter Cupcakes booth to both Edwards and Avon this year.
“I’m hoping there’s not a lot of overlap, so I’m not like, ‘Hello, here I am again,’” Rackoff said.
A few years ago, Rackoff did both the Minturn and Edwards markets.
“I ended up having to drop Minturn,” she said. “But I’m ready to try the double duty again and pay two people to be in two places. It will be a good summer job for someone home from college or a local high school kid. They’ll be able to be outside, meet new people, practice their customer service skills … and they’ll get to try all the cupcakes.”
When Avon’s market debuts this weekend, it will be in a temporary location in the parking lot of Montana’s Smokehouse. But the long-term plan is to have it in the new lot across the street, which organizer Tom Dobrez says will be custom made for a farmers market.
“The new spot will be really nice because they’re building it from the ground up,” he said. “And we’ve had some input with Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate.”
That opportunity to work with the builder of the new lot, along with Avon’s central location, were the factors prompting Dobrez, who was organizing the Edwards market up until this year, to shift his efforts to Avon.
“They are working hand in hand with us to create a nice market environment there,” he said.
When the folks at Edwards Corner learned the market was moving, they got to work on keeping it there, contacting vendors and offering free booths.
“We just want to keep it going for the community,” said Dan Bryant with Edwards Corner. “Most of these vendors, especially the big food guys, they do all the markets, so they get spread pretty thin. They don’t have huge budgets so (the Edwards market) will definitely help them.”
When familiar marketeer Dan “the Mountain Man” Cassano received the offer, he jumped on it.
“We were slowly considering not going back to the Edwards market this year, but when we got word of the new people running it and the offer that they were offering, we couldn’t pass it up,” he said.
Dobrez and Bryant both say their markets will focus on food. And they both have farmers providing fresh produce as their main draw. And while the Minturn market offers a range of goods, Nicky’s Quickie owner Stephen Porter says both his booth at the market and the restaurant itself are quite busy on Saturdays, as well.
“It’s a busy time of year for us,” he said.
Porter says he plans on trying out the Avon market this year, as well.
“We’ll see how it goes,” he said.
Of course, the grand jewel of the market season, the Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show, is still free of local competition every Sunday.
Joe Joyce with Joe’s Famous Deli has been participating in the Vail market every year of its existence. He says this year, he’s looking forward to trying something different.
“We’re going to serve French toast and blueberry pancakes for the people coming to the market wanting breakfast,” he said.
Vail’s market begins June 21.
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It has been a decade since Almanza-Hernandez graduated from Eagle Valley High School, and almost that long for Block. But inevitably, when a native son passes unexpectedly and tragically, folks tend to remember times spent together during their high school days.