BERLIN — With more vendors joining each week, there’s so much to do, see and taste this summer at the Ocean Pines Farmers and Artisans Market, which is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in White Horse Park.
Tapped are suppliers of fresh, local produce, meats, seafood and baked goods, along with scores of unique artists and artisans, and nonprofits and community groups. There are also many vegan and gluten-free options at the marketplace, plus a special Kids’ Market Zone filled with activities for children.
Market Manager David Bean said several new merchants entered the market this spring and will stay on through the summer.
One such newcomer is Roger Dize Seafood, which offers fresh, locally caught seafood, including live blue crabs.
“With customer lines growing each week, Dize continues to stock plenty of hard- and soft-shell crabs, scallops, and more,” Bean said. “The stand also accepts special orders, so customers can guarantee the products they’re looking for are ready for pickup at the market on Saturday morning.”
Foxhound Farm of Bishopville brings locally raised heritage Berkshire pork, lamb and goat products. Additionally, the stand has a selection of artisan products to go with the meats, including seasoning blends and sauces.
“Owner Dante Locona is a young and energetic farmer who is passionate about what he raises and produces,” Bean said. “His love of good food translates into a wonderful experience for those who shop with him. We are so excited to have Dante’s Foxhound farm at the market and are looking forward to seeing how his business grows over the years.”
Microgreen grower Elf Enchanted Garden also recently arrived and features an ever-changing selection of sprouts.
“Ericka Forsythe and her husband operate their local 23-acre African American owned farm and are at the Ocean Pines market each week,” Bean said. “Ericka loves to talk about her sprouts and has a wealth of ideas on how they can be sprinkled into meals. She’s got a lot of knowledge to share with her shoppers.”
Bean said there are also plenty of bakery options at the Ocean Pines marketplace.
“Our newest bakery is the Ugly Pie from Salisbury,” he said. “These award-winning bakers offer a wide variety of pies and flavor options. Pies are sold in whole or mini sizes, or by individual slices.”
Another new addition, Vivian’s House offers a selection of baked goods for special dietary requirements, including gluten free, dairy free, and even sweets for those who cannot have eggs in their diet.
“Vivian Manion is a soft-spoken individual who cares deeply about her customers, and she spends hours planning, researching and baking to create the items she sells each Saturday,” Bean said. “The apple cider cupcakes are unbelievably delicious, and don’t miss the pop tarts too. Vivian’s husband, James, often accompanies her to the market and can be seen playing his acoustic guitar at her side, much to the enjoyment of her market customers.”
For those looking for a snack while shopping, the popular Pretzel Trolley will be back at the market this summer.
“The food truck offers a selection of stuffed pretzels for fulfilling breakfast or lunchtime cravings,” Bean said. “And, to keep all those knives, tools and gardening items sharp, Sharper Edge is back weekly. Both the trolley and sharpening truck can be found on the parking lot next to the administration building.”
Bean said selections at the artisan market also continue to flourish. Macrame artisan Ivana Stuart recently opened the Beautiful Honua boutique at the market.
“Her artwork, displayed under a crisp, white canopy, is very attractive,” Bean said. “She’s looking forward to offering her handmade artwork to shoppers throughout this year.”
Other notable artisans include Lisa Chambers of Delaware Bay Clay, who designs and creates nautical themed pottery pieces for her customers. Shoppers can also enroll in hands-on pottery classes at her studio in Lewes, Delaware.
Donna Lloyd, owner of Artisan’s Aroma, is back at the market with her line of hand-poured candles. Bean said Lloyd has greeted Ocean Pines customers at the marketplace with her candle collections for many years.
For children, a popular face painting vendor will return, starting on Memorial Day weekend.
“Tory Hall, the owner of Poppytail Art, will be setting up weekly,” Bean said. “Hall has worked as a face painter at Dolly Parton’s Dollywood amusement park in Tennessee, and locally at the Rehoboth Sea Witch festival, Bridgeville’s Apple Scrapple, and Dover Days.”
Hall will be at the market each Saturday, except when Amberlina’s Adventures and Pearl Moon Face Painting are in the Kids’ Market Zone.
Many local community and nonprofit groups are also represented at the market.
“Our community partners are a big asset and add so much to the Ocean Pines market,” Bean said. “Neighbors and friends greeting each other, sharing and building support is part of what makes our Community Corner so special and unique. I could not be prouder of what these organizations add to the market.”
“We are also always looking for volunteers to help with the day-to-day task at the Ocean Pines market,” Bean said. “Hours and participation schedules are flexible. For those that enjoy being outdoors, with people and rubbing elbows with our merchants, this is a fantastic opportunity to become a part of the market team.”