Do you remember the last time you went shopping? I do. It was in a big overcrowded supermarket right after work. I was strictly there for a business transaction: to get in, get my groceries and get out. It still took too long and it was frustrating to wait in the cashiers line up. I don’t like the feel of the modern day grocery stores either. Many of them seem to have a big-box, impersonal feel to them. While the cashiers appear happy, I know that for many of them it is just a job and they don’t want to be there. It’s business, and a necessity of life.

But there is an alternative. A much fresher alternative. I went to the Beverly Farmer’s Market the other day. A bunch of local merchants had their tents set up on a bright sunny day. People were milling about, families were catching up with the latest news, and everyone just seemed happy. Even though I didn’t know anyone, I felt connected. It was amazing to hear the farmers talk about how they “just picked these tomatoes this morning”. In fact, I was recommended to try them because they simply tasted better than anything else.

How many times can you say that you met the person who picked your food and followed it from the farm to your neighborhood? There was something special knowing that the person I was buying my food from actually cared about what he was doing. These people were friendly; it was their livelihood. I felt less like a nameless customer and more like a personal friend.

There was a balloon man in a shirt and tie entertaining the children, a large inflatable jungle-gym, and a coloring table set up. It was the perfect place for families. They could drop off their children, do their shopping, and have a good evening.

I smelled fresh cinnamon buns as I walked toward a booth, making my mouth water. Even though I had a late lunch that day, I came up with the $3 required to buy these freshly baked treats, and indulged. It was phenomenal. I had to buy some kettle corn too, which was made in a large iron kettle on the spot. It was superb to any store bought desert.

Next time you are going to head off to Superstore, consider visiting the Beverly Farmer’s Market. Your food will be fresh, cared for, and there are treats that a box-store could never compete with. Even the simplest of vegetables, like the tomatoes, are out of this world. Join us at this community event and meet your neighbors, too.

The Beverly Farmer’s Market runs every Tuesday, rain or shine, from 4PM-8PM in the parking lot beside the Cenotaph on 118th Avenue and 40 Street (May to Mid-September).

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