The Customers Speak for Themselves, Part 2

It’s a special blog this week. As promised last month here is a wonderful perspective on one family’s time spent at the Market over the years. It happens that this family has grown right along with the Market and has been with us from the very beginning. We love that and we love them for doing this for us. Russ Plywaczynski is the Director of Finance for St Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon. He and his family reside in Bridgeport.

My wife Rochelle and I moved here eight years ago. She was starting her new job at UHC, and I was starting school at Fairmont State. We had just come from DC, where it was not hard to find farmers markets and regional foods. I remember one of my biggest concerns was that we would have a hard time finding fresh, reliable, local foods. Thanks to the Bridgeport Farmers Market, I was proven wrong.

family pic

We heard about the very first market from a banner hanging over Johnson Avenue, and we drove down to Bridgeport High School the very next Sunday. It was a small affair, maybe four or five vendors. Being new to the area, we had no connections to the vendors or the other customers. But we went every Sunday, each time getting to know the farmers a little better. Back then, being newlyweds and with me in school full-time, the budget was tight. We came with our $20 in cash and stocked up as much as we could. I remember leaving the market one day and Rochelle saying how good it felt to know that the money we were spending was supporting our community.

Baby maria at the market
Rochelle with Baby Maria at the Market a few years back.

Over time, the market grew, and so did our family. Our oldest daughter Maria joined us at the market in her ergo carrier. She had an early fondness for cucumbers. That didn’t last long once she discovered local fruit and My Little Cupcake. Kateri joined us a few years later, also sharing her sister’s love of fruit and cupcakes, as well as helping herself to whatever Mommy ordered for lunch.

As our family has grown with the market, I realize that our daughters’ experience of food is connected to their community. – Russ Plywaczynski

As our family has grown with the market, I realize that our daughters’ experience of food is connected to their community. They know the people we buy from, and they have an understanding of where food comes from. It doesn’t appear on shelves; it comes from the earth. Someone worked to bring it from farm to table, and our daughters get to thank them every week.

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Russ shaking hands with Laura Morgan of Sweet Wind Farm on Opening Day 2017

Now, eight years after we were married and five years since our first-born, we still look forward every Sunday to the Bridgeport Farmers Market. While we love supporting the local community, the market has grown so big that it is impossible to support every vendor. Our regular vendors are mix of old and new; meat from the Shipley’s Forest Hill Farm and Sweet Wind Farm; veggies from Green Acres and Jennings Brae Farm; fruit from the Richardsons, and popcorn from Hawthorn Valley.

And of course, Sunday treats from My Little Cupcake!

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