Balzac Launches New East Side Farmers Market

On Saturday, September 23, Balzac will host a new East Side Farmers at the corner of Brady and Arlington Place. As an east-sider myself, it thrilled me when I heard about the new market. I’ve had a wonderful time exploring the various markets in the Greater Milwaukee area, as well as Dane County’s, but to live within walking distance of one? That’s pretty terrific.

So what made Balzac decide to organize a market? I spoke to the restaurant’s general manager, Emily Chirillo, to find out.

“We felt like there wasn’t one around and that it would be well-received in the community,” Chirillo tells me. “We’re looking for more ways to contribute to the community, and it seems like it fit in with what we’re going for.”

As someone new who’s still learning about the restaurant scene in Milwaukee, my first thought when someone mentions Balzac is the amazing menu of small plates, such as the crispy pork belly I ate a couple of weeks ago. My next thought is of the delicious wine I’ve had there. But as I quickly learn, I’m only skimming the surface of what Balzac is doing.

“We have a new promotion that we started last February that’s called Family Meal,” Chirillo explains. “We provide free food with drink purchases on Sunday night [at 10:00] to combat food waste… It allows us to get rid of scraps that most people throw away, that chefs can concoct into small plates.”

In addition to combating food waste through the Sunday night special, Balzac also contributes to the community through Compost Kids and the Hunger Task Force Farm. It’s through these initiatives that Chirillo says, “a lightbulb went off” this summer. That’s when the Balzac team began brainstorming a new farmers market.

“We’ve all been to several farmers markets,” she says. “We all had the same vision for it and that was kind of equal parts farm and food and craft. Somewhere in there is kind of an overlap of specialty things like bitters, chocolates, candies, bakeries, roasted nuts or popcorns – the specialty things in-between craft and farm.”

The market will run from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, with second market planned for October 21st. The two markets, each with different vendors participating, will serve as the groundwork for a weekly East Side Farmers Market, hopefully kicking off in late spring next year.

“We’ll see how the turnout is,” Chirillo says. “We’re blessed with great weather Saturday. We think this will be a good gauge for what a nice Saturday will look like. If vendors are happy and we get a good turnout, it’ll be a success.”

The following farmers, vendors and artists will be a part of the September 23rd East Side Farmers Market:

Balzac Beignets and Coffee
La Masa Empanadas
Bittercube Bitters
Chillwaukee Popsicles (perfect for a potentially-record setting September day)
Teens Grow Greens Handmade Products
Elegant Farmer Apples, Cider, Gourds and Décor
Mr. Dye’s Pies
Freese’s Candy and Heavenly Roasted Nuts
Sister Golden Hair Cross Stitch Products
Fern and Nettle Soaps
AnnKat Designs Jewelry
Alicia Wahl Face Painting
Lorganix Vegetables
MetConnect Sustainable Milwaukee.

The following farmers, vendors and artists will be a part of the October 21st East Side Farmers Market:

Balzac Beignets and Coffee
La Masa Empanadas
That Salsa Lady
Big City Greens, Mushrooms and Vegetables
5 Lilies Jams and Preserves
Clock Shadow Creamery Cheese
Mr. Dye’s Pies
Freese’s Candy and Heavenly Roasted Nuts
Elegant Farmer Apples, Cider, Gourds and Décor
Directive Made Leather Products
Big White Yeti Candles
Sister Golden Hair Cross-stitch
AnnKat Designs Jewelry
Tippecanoe Herbs, Tonics, Teas and Salves
The Wise Kind Organic Holistic Skincare
Buddha Weaves Dream Catchers
Alicia Wahl Face Painting

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