By Jennifer Tuohy, Island Eye News Editor
The first ever Sullivan’s Island Farmers’ Market begins Thursday, April 7, and continues weekly through June 30. The much-anticipated event will be held at 19201 I’On Avenue, in the area in front of Poe Library and Battery Gadsden.
The market offers a hand-picked selection of 22 area-vendors, offering locally-grown, fresh produce, farm products, plants specialty food, artisan crafts, live entertainment and more. It will run from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Town has been working on the project since last fall, when new councilmember Sarah Church proposed the event and spearheaded its creation. Recreation Committee members selected the vendors from an applicant pool of over 60.
There were strict criteria for each category, including that farmers must grow at least 50 percent of the produce they sell, and anything purchased elsewhere must be disclosed.
The lineup for the first two markets includes locally grown plants and vegetables from Sullivan’s Island-based Plant The Earth, blueberries from Blue Pearl Farm in McClellanville and fresh seafood from Salty Seafood. The famed Rio Bertolinis will bring its delicious fresh pasta to the island and Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse will have a selection of local artisanal cheese products.
All of the vendors are local, coming from Mt. Pleasant, Goose Creek, Summerville, West Ashley and John’s Island. For some this is their first foray into the Charleston-area farmers’ market scene. Grace Newland is bringing her fledgling tortilla company Mitla Tortilleria to the inaugural market Thursday. The 12-monthold business just opened its first wholesale facility in West Ashley, and Newland is excited to bring her fresh, handmade tortillas to Sullivan’s Island’s residents and visitors.
“The East Cooper area already has a lot of healthy lifestyle businesses and I think it will be a good market for me,” she says.
“A lot of my customers are health conscious individuals looking for products that use only fresh ingredients, such as moms who like to serve their kids healthy meals, and people who don’t like bread or gluten.” Newland’s tortillas are made with non-GMO, organic ingredients and contain only four or five ingredients, none of which are preservatives. “I make the corn in the traditional way, starting with whole kernel corn that I boil in lime, rinse, grind and make into fresh massa to press into corn tortillas.” She also offer flour tortillas in different flavors, including chipotle, roasted red pepper, beet and truffle oil.
Alongside food, the market will feature a selection of arts and crafts vendors, live music from Sullivan’s Island acoustic bluegrass musician Marci Shore, and face painting and balloon art for the little ones.
To keep up with events and activities at the market be sure to Like the market’s Facebook page facebook.com/SIFARMERSMARKET.