During the election campaign last fall, one thing Alderman Karma O’Neill kept hearing from Ward 2 residents was that they wanted more amenities within walking distance.
Six months into his first term on Annapolis City Council, O’Neill is keeping his campaign promise. Residents looking for fresh produce now have another option but to drive to the Anne Arundel Farmer’s Market on Riva Road. Farragut Farmer’s Market opens Sunday and runs through Aug. 21 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Once the football season begins, the market unfortunately ends, but otherwise O’Neill said she was happy to receive support from the Naval Academy Athletic Association. The market will be held every Sunday in the stadium parking lot at the corner of Farragut and Cedar Park Roads. Leashed pets are welcome and parking is free. So far, 14 vendors have signed up to offer coffee, produce, donuts, BBQ, pastries and more.
“There’s a bit of everything,” O’Neill said.
What will make Farragut Market unique is its focus on family-friendly activities and the desire to help low-income families access fresh food. An outreach team from the Chesapeake Children’s Museum will be on hand Sunday to help entertain children while their parents shop, and select vendors will be offering Market Dollars, an honor system experience aimed at helping residents cope with the rising costs.
Vendors have been given the option of paying a flat fee to set up a booth, or they can donate around 10% of what they bring to sell. If customers see the “market dollars” sign, they can request what’s available and receive free products at the seller’s discretion.
“It’s about giving back to the community,” O’Neill said.
Some providers, such as Severna Park-based Diehl’s Produce, will also accept SNAP benefits. Other household names represented in the market include Blondie’s Donuts, Edgewater’s Blue Dog BBQ, In Grano Bakery and Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company, a Crofton coffee company.
The latter particularly appealed to O’Neill, who says she longed for a fresh cup of coffee to sip while browsing other markets. Two key volunteers, Kaitlyn McQuaid and Sally Erber, have taken the initiative to recruit vendors and will be in the market directing traffic on Sunday, but additional volunteers are always welcome to reach out via the market’s social media channels .
“We hope it will just grow,” O’Neill said.