Patrons Eager To Partake In Spring Market Offerings

WESTFIELD-Under Thursday’s blue skies at noon, The Rev. Nancy Webb Stroud of the Episcopal Church of the Atonement welcomed vendors and patrons to the first Westfield Farmers’ Market of the season, and offered a blessing. Within minutes, the crowd dispersed and area residents were eager to begin their purchases.

The Rev. Nancy Webb Stroud, the rector at the Episcopal Church of the Atonement in Westfield, offered a blessing at noon as the Westfield Farmers’ Market opened for the season.

Amy Jacobson and her daughter Jordan, a recent graduate of Providence College, had already been mingling around the tables to get a sneak peak of what vendors had to offer. As soon as the blessing was rendered, they circled back to Saltbox Seasonings, a new vendor this season.
“We both like to come to the farmers’ market to see local vendors and support local businesses,” said Amy Jacobson, adding, “Our family loves fresh fruits and vegetables and we appreciate the great quality that is offered by these businesses.”

Amy and Jordan Jacobson look over gourmet sugars offered by Christina Bozza of Saltbox Seasonings.

The excitement from patrons like the Jacobsons was evident – from the event organizers and volunteers to the vendors who have been preparing their products for market. The farmers’ market is an outreach project of the church.
Close to 30 vendors were setting up tables early, and on closer inspection one could find locally grown produce, jams, jellies, relishes, breads, cheese, mushrooms, soaps, oils, seasonings, Italian gelato, doughnuts, and pretzels – among many other delectable choices. Also, a host of crafts made by hand and many from natural products were available for sale, and information was offered about healthy lifestyles.

Donna St. Jean of Healthy Lifestyles With Donna discusses her new business endeavor with Jenny Doser, also a vendor at the Westfield Farmers’ Market.

The market runs Thursdays from noon to 6 p.m. through Oct. 5, rain or shine, and in addition to vendors, local musicians perform and cooking demonstrations take place.
Vendors participating this season include Ascentria Care Alliance, Boomsma Family Farm, Andrew Charig, Cal Craft, Camp K-9, Chicoine Family Farm, William Dean Technical High School, Fortini Gelato, Grace Hill Farm, Healthy Lifestyles with Donna, The Hood Cafe of Southwick, It Makes Scents by Michelle, MayVal Farm, Moe’s Donuts, Mount Warner Vineyards, MycoTerra Mushroom Farm, Pignatare’s Farm, Relax.Rinse.Repeat., Rudy’s Greenhouse, Saltbox Seasonings, Skyline Trading Company, Stony Creek Farm, Stoneybrook Cider, Sweet Harvest Farm, Thrive – Financial Coaching, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Donna St. Jean and Yang Flowers.

Bobbie Kamen of Mount Warner Vineyards pours a “Positively Peach” wine – one of several offered during free samplings.

“We were so impressed last year with the market and enjoyed our time that we wanted to return,” said Maureen Boomsma of Boomsma Family Farm. With her children at her side to answer questions by visitors, Boomsma was putting the finishing touches on her table items which ranged from maple syrup, pottery, homemade dog biscuits, and braided and knitted necklaces to one-pound rhubarb bunches. Pork was also available for sale on Thursday.
“Everyone here is great to work with and we look forward to a successful season,” said Boomsma.

Maureen Boomsma of Boomsma Family Farm is joined by her children, Penelope, Charley, and Greta, who were eager to greet patrons.

Bobbie Kamen of Mount Warner Vineyards echoed those sentiments.
“We visit three markets and the Westfield Farmers’ Market is the best place for us to be,” said Kamen, who offers samples of red and white wines for passersby. A raspberry dessert wine is also offered for sale.
Market manager Debbie Randzio noted in an earlier interview that music and chef presentations are bonuses that make the farmers’ market an ideal stop on a Thursday afternoon.
“The market will continue to feature live music performed by local musicians, sponsored by a grant from the Westfield Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council and partially funded by musician volunteers who performed at a concert at the church in March,” said Randzio.

Terri Osella and Karina Cammarano showcase a popular seller for the Skyline Trading Company – cinnamon sugar pretzels drizzled with icing – at the Westfield Farmers’ Market.

Also, area chefs will demonstrate recipes using goods purchased at the market and provide copies of the recipes for sharing.
“Health coach Donna St. Jean will also be available to provide advice on budgeting and shopping for healthy food and will supply additional cooking ideas and simple recipes using healthy, inexpensive ingredients,” said Randzio.
St. Jean has just opened her business, Healthy Lifestyles With Donna, at 16 Union Ave. As a health coach, St. Jean empowers clients to take responsibility for their health and achievement of their personal wellness goals.

Jenny Doser of Relax.Rinse.Repeat. has two new products this season – a Belly Butter and a Sweet Dreams Spray.

“Some common areas where a health coach may help a client include weight management, food cravings, sleep, energy, stress management, and digestion,” said St. Jean. She will offer recipes each week that will coincide with local produce and products that will also be for sale by vendors. “My intention is to support the other vendors who are selling food by sharing recipes, cooking techniques, and ideas for inexpensive meals and treats that can be used for the seasonal foods at the market.”
Christina Bozza also recently started a business, Saltbox Seasonings, and touts her offerings that ranges from dip mixes and gourmet sugars to infused salt, salt-free and natural blends. Her products range from Mexican Mojo and Viva Italy! dip mixes to infused salt offerings including garlic rosemary, Aleppo pepper sea salt and lemon salt.
“Everyone is very friendly here and I couldn’t wait to get into this market,” said Bozza.
Jenny Doser of Relax.Rinse.Repeat. concurred.
“We continue to do well with our products and our Bug Away Spray is by far our best seller,” said Doser, adding her new products this season include a Belly Butter and a Sweet Dreams Spray.

Jenny Doser of Relax.Rinse.Repeat. has a new offering this season – Belly Butter which prevents and diminishes stretch marks and heals scarring.

Also returning to the market this season is the Skyline Trading Company which opened its business on Elm Street last October.
“We are eager to expose our business to those coming to the market,” said Terri Osella, who was joined by Karina Cammarano at their tent. Delectable offerings ranged from large pretzels covered in either sea salt or cinnamon sugar with icing, to honey wheat and spent grain breads, bread bowls, baguettes and chocolate chip cookies.
Randzio noted that SNAP customers are also able to receive limited matching funds returned to their EBT cards with purchases of fresh fruit and vegetables from qualified vendors through the Healthy Incentive Program, administered through the state Department of Transitional Assistance.
Some vendors will also be able to accept WIC and FMNSP programs, according to Randzio.
For patrons, another market draw is joining the Loyalty Card Program at the market host’s tent which allows customers who return to the market six times to be eligible for a drawing for a free gift.
“There will be weekly drawings for rewards such as market gift certificates or gift baskets filled with products from the market vendors,” said Randzio.
Nonprofit organizations will also have tents to distribute information, including The Master Gardeners providing soil testing, and Ascentria Care Alliance offering SNAP nutrition education.
“Applications are still being accepted from nonprofit organizations that wish to participate,” said Randzio.
For listings of vendor information, future special events, musicians and chefs to watch, visit

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