JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – If you like to shop for a special meal and do some sampling along the way, the Johns Creek Farmers Market is right up your pantry.
Once again, the John Creek Farmers Market is open Saturdays at Newtown Park from 8:30 a.m. to noonish. Once they run out of food, most vendors head for home. So the secret to a good experience at the market is to go early.
Another good tip is to engage the vendors in what they grow. They love talking about their wares almost as much as they love to talk about their children.
Jim MacGregor is a local vendor. He and his wife Chrissie run Prima Olive: An Epicurean Experience at 11030 Medlock Bridge Road, Johns Creek. At the market, Jim loves to talk about his white and dark balsamic vinegars infused with natural flavors.
His vinegars come from Greece, Italy and California. Of course his balsamics are only Italian.
“The farmers market is a perfect pairing for us between the bread companies and the organic farmers,” MacGregor said.
Merrily McLaughlin loves coming to market with her assortment of jams and jellies.
“I like to make all kinds of yummy things,” she said. “Things to eat and snack on.”
She also has chutneys, pickles and salsa to tickle the taste buds. They are all made with Vidalia onions or plum sauce.
McLaughlin also brings her wares to Woodstock and Piedmont Park’s two-day festival. She has newly potted plants from her nursery. Everything she doesn’t grow herself is grown in Georgia.
Carlin and Bartee Lamar love to come to the market to get the fresh, naturally grown vegetables, fruit and cheeses.
“I’m a personal chef,” said Carlin Lamar. “So I cook a good deal. It is very important to eat organic.”
Bartee Lamar says, “We like local.”
You know when you buy it at the market, it didn’t come far.
Carlin also teaches children the value of eating organic. She is at chefcarlin.com.
Johns Creek resident Robert Sackellares has started a cottage industry with his grandmother’s special barbecue sauce.
“My grandmother and grandfather had the Liberty Café in Fort Valley for 36 years. We started selling it on the Internet and it has really caught on,” Sackellares said.
Customers range from California, Arizona and Washington on the west coast to Michigan, New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania in the north. In the South, they get orders from Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, both Carolinas and Maryland.
“We have won some contests. People seem to like it a lot,” he said.
He has a crockpot with some pulled pork tooth-pick sized for tasting. That is just about all the marketing he and his daughters have to do.
Robin Schick is a certified artisan cheese maker from Sandy Springs who makes her cheeses from fresh milk delivered from the dairy. She owns CalyRoad Creamery where she makes a variety of cheeses to please any palate.
“The milk is then pasteurized, cooled, flavored, cut and aged all in house, and all by hand,” Schick said.
It is all there every Saturday morning through the end of August for you savor – the good food and the stories that go with the getting of it.