Sights, Sounds and Savory Flavors of the First Saturday Market in 2014

By: Kelsey Stein | Publication:

The Pepper Place Saturday Market, which was just named one of the 10 best farmers markets in the South, began its 15th season Saturday morning.  If you missed out on opening day, check out the article published by for a full report on the "Sights, Sounds, Smells and Savory Flavors" from the first 2014 Saturday market.  Continue reading for a recap of the day according to reporter Kelsey Stein.  

What You Missed at the First Saturday Market

An impressive turnout of people...
Hundreds of people browsed the items available from across the state: Chilton County strawberries, greenhouse tomatoes, Hereford beef, specialty cuts of pork, sheep cheese, goat cheese, artisan teas and fresh baked pies.

And their dogs.
Dozens of dogs accompanied their owners to the market. They even had their very own place to get some samples of locally made treats – CahaBones.

Tomatoes. Big, fat, red, juicy tomatoes.

It seemed like everywhere you turned at Pepper Place there were baskets of bright red tomatoes, and they'll be around all summer. Tomatoes grow through May and June, so don't worry if you missed the market this week.

Hot pepper sauce (No, not that nuisance sriracha – it's local!)
The Facebook page for Punk's Gourmet Pepper Sauce says you should "get your lips ready to dance." The pepper sauce is touted as quite versatile – for grilling, marinading, dipping or just dousing anything you're eating at the moment.

Handmade art, dishes, jewelry and more
Ceramic coffee mugs and dishes, hand-carved wooden spoons and animal figurines, and hand-sewn tote bags – there are many handmade items perfect for you to use at home or give as a gift.

And last – but most certainly not least – CHEESE.

Stone Hollow Creamery drew many visitors who sought a taste of its creamy, flavorful goat cheese, as did Shugie's Gourmet with its two varieties of pimento cheese.  Jackie Gilmer, AKA "Shugie," has been making her traditional pimento cheese for years, with "a lot of tweaking" of the recipe along the way. She started Shugie's in October and has since developed a spicy white cheddar variety. Saturday was her first experience as a vendor at the Pepper Place market.  "Pimento cheese is a family tradition," she said. "We never gather together without it."


Did you miss the first market?

For the next four Saturdays, all of the farmers, artisans and food vendors will be in the main parking lot between 28th and 29th Streets on Second Avenue South.

When the summer season begins May 10, the market will expand to include additional farmers and vendors along 29th Street South next to the Red Cat coffeehouse.

The farmers market takes place along Second Avenue South in the Pepper Place design and entertainment district. Hours are 7 a.m. to noon rain or shine. The 2014 season continues through Dec. 13. For more information about the market, go here.


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