Winter farmer’s market kicks off today in Kalamazoo

Dec 3, 2011

Carl Rizzuto sells his own sausage and meatballs at the summer farmer’s market in Kalamazoo. He tried coordinating a winter market ten years ago but he says there wasn’t enough interest. Now he says business is so good during the summer market vendors agreed a the Kalamazoo Winter Market would be worth the effort.

“In Kalamazoo…we get 5,000 people on a Saturday and it’s just a festival. People just love it. They’re there every week and they hate to see it go and hopefully we can be part of that throughout the year,” Rizzuto said.

Rizzuto owns Papa’s Italian Sausage right across the street from the summer market. The small restaurant sits 20 people. About half of his business is takeout orders of the freshly prepared, homemade meat.

He says more people are interested in knowing where their food comes from and spending their money locally. “Everybody needs to make an income all year round and this is a good way for them to continue that,” Rizzuto said. He admits there won’t be as much of a selection as there is in the summer.

More than 40 vendors will offer cheese, meats, granola, tamales, baked goods, and cold crops like radishes. There’s also knife-sharpening and handmade jewelry.

The Kalamazoo winter market is every Saturday until the summer market opens in April.