Saturday’s summer-like temperatures made St. Charles resident Leslie Guerrero wants to go out and do some browsing and a monthly farmers market in North Aurora was just the right place.
“There’s just a great variety of things here and people are happy to be out,” Leslie said as she walked through the market in a parking lot just behind Towne Center Drive. “I’m looking for fresh flowers and fruit. I grew up around this area and I’m excited to see this open. The weather is great and I’ll definitely shop around. ”
The market in North Aurora officially opened for the season at 10 am Saturday. Run by the furniture and decor store known as The Rustic Fox, its The Farmer & Artisan Monthly Market, a huge 200-plus vendor event, will run once a month outside the store until Oct. 15.
Now in its second year, organizers are excited about the growth of vendors and the season that lies ahead.
“We definitely have more vendors that we did last year during the pandemic,” said Lisa Asturrizaga, CEO of Rustic Fox and who lives in North Aurora. “Part of the growth is that we have a phenomenal marketing team and people are just interested in different things.”
The market, Asturrizaga said, “includes artisan-type things, paintings, clothes, hand-made homeware and jewelry and home decor.”
“We have about 60% food items and the rest is made up of other items,” she said. “A lot of our food vendors have their indoor greenhouses. There is a limited amount of things now but we do have a large variety. ”
One of the many new vendors this year was Woodstock resident Erin Carey, a sign vendor who said she “sells signs and sparkly cups and makes everything by hand” with help from her husband.
“Our booth is called Here’s Your Sign and this is my first year with this market,” she said. “I’ve been a vendor for a year and a half and wanted to come here because to me there’s nothing like it. This is a unique store and I like that it feels like the vendors get along and we’re more like a family. ”
Julie Devine of Naperville was another first-timer at the North Aurora market and said “while we have done craft shows before this is the first time for Rustic Fox.”
Her business, known as Simply Devine Designs, was among many craft-oriented vendors on hand, something that Devine said “was nice just to keep the way it is.”
Cody Gregory was another vendor on hand showcasing her Wine Diamond Rack Company which featured a variety of wooden wine racks.
Gregory said she was a returning vendor to this year’s market and also likes to appear at events “like Geneva’s Festival of the Vine and other local markets.”
She said she likes the format and wishes the North Aurora market was held more than once a month.
“The weather is beautiful and it certainly has helped bring people out today,” Gregory said as she looked across a sea of tents and shoppers. “So far, it’s been really busy. I see a lot more vendors than we had last year and have a lot more diversity. ”
Alexa Goodwin of St. Charles was just one of the hundreds of opening day shoppers and said the weather definitely enticed her to come.
“My mom has been here before but this is my first time to the market. If it was 40 degrees out today rather an almost 80 I probably would not have come, “she said.” I bought some sangria and freeze-dried candy and some jewelry. I thought the selections were pretty cool. ”
Alexa’s mother Leeann Goodwin raved about the coffee available on the grounds.
“The coffee is the best,” she said pointing to plastic cups she and Alexa were holding. “This is more of a craft fair than foods I think. Having the market once a month is kind of a good idea because people know they can not come here every week. You get some pent-up demand. ”
David Sharos is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.