WESTPORT, Conn. — Lori Cochran raised a sample cup of fresh green juice high to the sunny skies, as farmers, artisans and foodies alike toasted the opening of the 11th season of the Westport Farmers Market on Thursday morning.
Open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Thursday from now through Nov. 3, the bustling market is a hub of activity and a meeting place for Westport and beyond.
“It’s a community of people,” said Patti Popp, owner of Sport Hill Farm in Easton, who was selling everything from lettuces to lovage Thursday. “It’s not just a farmers market. We work really hard to provide the purest food for people.
“It’s like a family. It’s just a fun place to be.”
Lori Chips of Norwalk packed her reusable shopping bag with many goodies and spent some time trying tasty samples as she perused the pop-up tents and food trucks.
“The food is incredible,” she said. “It’s a real community thing. You feel as though not only are you supporting them, but you’re being supported, too.”
Located at 50 Imperial Ave., the market lists 52 vendors, with 32 peddling their wares on any given Thursday.
“The most valuable part of the market is we vet all our vendors,” said Cochran, who is the executive director. “We have standards. For instance, all the prepared foods must have at least one locally sourced ingredient.”
Vendors run the gamut from farms, such as Sport Hill and Rose’s Berry Farm, to SoNo Baking Co. of Norwalk and Molly & Murphy, which sells Irish dog and horse biscuits. Nutty Bunny offers vegan, non-dairy ice cream, Jane’s Good Food of Westport sells delectable canned pickles and Calcutta Kitchens serves up fresh Indian simmer sauces.
Chips said she heads over the Norwalk line each Thursday because she thinks the Westport Farmers Market is the best she’s visited.
“There’s always a surprise and a treat,” she said.