A uniquely “Ogden” farmers market

Shoppers heading toward Farmers Market Ogden.

Nearly every Saturday of the summer Historic 25th Street fills with vendors of all backgrounds to sell local produce, homemade goods and host a wide variety of live music. The Market is known today as Farmers Market Ogden, and was rebranded when the Ogden Downtown Alliance took over managing the event in 2016-2017. Now, the farmers market runs most Saturdays in the summer from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and since its rebranding, it has grown into the three-block long event it is today.

Haille Van Patten, public relations manager for the ODA, describes the market as still remaining intimate despite its growth these last few years.

“When you’re there it doesn’t feel overwhelming because everyone knows each other, and it’s just this awesome community they’ve built together,” Patten said.

Two market regulars, Mady Wood & Keaton Farnsworth, shared this sentiment. After moving to Salt Lake City, they found themselves trying to go to Farmers Market Ogden each Saturday.

“It’s better than all the other farmers markets in Salt Lake,” Wood said. “I feel like it’s more local-friendly and really gets the community involved.”

In addition to maintaining a local feeling, the market also holds much more than just art or produce. Patten also shared how it is easy to assume the market is rather small or hosts just a few similar stands. However, it manages to hold sellers of a wide variety of foods, art, jewelry and much more.

Long-time vendor Volker Ritzinger, finds himself returning to the market every year for the unique feel and experience of Farmers Market Ogden. Originally from Austria, Ritzinger now sells bread and pastries from his bakery in Kamas every weekend.

Recipes are from all over Europe including Germany, Italy and, of course, Austria.

“I go to a lot of farmers markets in Utah with my bread stand, but this is one of the best managed markets,” Ritzinger said. “I’m always here at the Ogden market because this is just the number one market in the state of Utah.”

The market is also a great place to start a new business.

Ceramic workers Ashley and Mark Chase are new to the market this year with Chase Ceramics and have very quickly reached a low inventory selling their mugs, and dishware. They were happy to find how appreciative people have been for their artwork.

“We’re just happy that maybe it’ll bring a smile to people’s faces,” Ashley Chase said.

For Diné native Dorothea Preston, the market helps her sell her handcrafted Navajo jewelry and art.

Initially moving from their reservation Preston wanted to allow her daughter and family more opportunities. Here she is able to promote her business and help pass on the tradition and culture to her daughter.

There are many who find the weather at the market perfect for walking their dogs. Visiting the market, there are many dogs enjoying the market right alongside their owners.

Dr. Camille Milligan took the opportunity of the market to help promote her door-to-door veterinary care business. Allowing more timid and frightened animals to receive care comfortably inside their home.

Alongside the vendors and their booths, many businesses located on Historic 25th Street take part in the market. Setting up stalls outside their stores like Lavender Vinyl and their many options in records, CDs and cassette tapes.

There are also many musicians, like Yudi Ko who perform all throughout the day.

Outside of the many vendors and participants, Farmers Market Ogden offers unique opportunities for their vendors and guests. Allowing vendors to sign up full season or for only a few days to try out the experience.

They also offer social media support, assisting in graphics, hashtags and more to further spread awareness of their business.

For those wanting to experience the market, the Ogden Downtown Alliance offers special tokens for those who qualify for EBT. At the info booth payment can be exchanged for wooden tokens to spend at the booths where participating vendors accept the tokens for their products.

Patten emphasizes the acceptance anyone using this form of payment is likely to receive.

“We’ve created such a welcoming community with our info booth staff and with our vendors that is another transaction,” Patten said. “We’re just here to support everyone and give everyone access to the same fresh produce.”

Farmers Market Ogden is an especially unique experience for everyone involved. From the vendors offering art and food, to the everyday connections made there.

“If the market isn’t serving the community and it’s not serving the local and independently owned businesses then we are not doing our job right,” Patten said.

Patten’s favorite aspect of the market are the relationships formed every week. Vendors coming to know each other throughout the season, old friends and colleagues bumping into one another.

“It’s like there’s really nothing to compare it to. Ogden is just so unique, and I think the farmers market really reflects that diverse fabric that really is the downtown,” Patten said.