Weather, growing number of vendors draw shoppers to North Aurora farmers market opening day – Chicago Tribune
Saturday’s summer-like temperatures made Leslie Guerrero, a resident of St. Charles, want to get outside and do some browsing, and North Aurora’s monthly farmers market was just the right place.
“There is a great variety of things here and people are happy to get outside,” Leslie said as she strolled through the market in the parking lot behind Towne Center Drive. “I am looking for fresh flowers and fruit. I grew up in this area and am excited to see this open. The weather is great and I will definitely be shopping.”
The market in North Aurora officially opened for the season at 10 a.m. Saturday. Run by the furniture and decor store known as The Rustic Fox, the monthly The Farmer & Artisan Market is a massive event with more than 200 vendors that will run once a month outside the store until October 15.
Now in its second year, organizers are excited about the growth of the sellers and the upcoming season.
“We definitely have more vendors we have worked with last year during the pandemic,” said Lisa Asturizaga, CEO of Rustic Fox who lives in North Aurora. “Part of the growth is that we have an exceptional marketing team and people are just interested in different things.”
The market “includes artisan-type things, paintings, clothing, handcrafted household items, jewelry and home décor,” Asturizaga said.
“We have about 60% of the food and the rest is made up of other materials,” she said. “A lot of our food vendors have indoor greenhouses. There is a limited amount of stuff now but we have a great variety.”
One of the many new sellers this year was Erin Curry, a sign seller who said she “sells banners and glossy mugs and makes everything by hand” with the help of her husband.
“Our booth here is called your tower, and this is my first year with this market,” she said. “I have been a seller for a year and a half and wanted to come here because there is nothing like it for me. This is a unique shop and I love that it feels like the sellers get along and we are like family.”
Julie Devine of Naperville was first back at North Aurora Market and said “While we did artisan shows before this was Rustic Fox’s first time.”
Her business, Simply Devine Designs, was among many sellers interested in crafts, something Devine said “was nice to keep as is.”
Cody Gregory was another seller on hand showing off her Wine Diamond Rack which includes a variety of wooden wine racks.
Gregory said she was a vendor returning to this year’s market and also wanted to appear at events “such as the Geneva Vine Festival and other local markets.”
She said she loves the look and wishes the North Aurora Market would take place more than once a month.
“The weather is beautiful and it definitely helped get people out today,” Gregory said, looking across a sea of tents and shoppers. “So far, it’s been really busy. I see a lot more sellers than we had last year and we have a lot more variety.”
Alexa Goodwin of St. Charles was just one of hundreds of shoppers on opening day and said the weather definitely prompted her to come.
“My mum has been here before but this is my first time going to the market. If it was 40 degrees outside today instead of 80 degrees I probably wouldn’t have come,” she said. “I bought some sangria, freeze-dried candy and some jewelry. I thought the selections were pretty cool.”
Alexa’s mother, Lynne Goodwin, took care of the coffee available on Earth.
“Coffee is the best,” she said, pointing to the plastic cups she and Alexa were holding. “This is a more literal fair than foods I think. Having a market once a month is a good idea because people know they can’t come here every week. You get some pent-up demand.”
David Sharros is a freelance reporter for the Beacon News.