Hate ironing? I do, too, and so does Kay Johnson, of Custom Made Ironing Board Covers, the lady smiling in the picture below. Yes, she's holding an ironing board and sells ironing board covers...but why is she SMILING? Because she has found a way to make ironing quicker and less of a chore. Seriously! Her story started in Traverse City some 10 years ago when she bought a ironing board cover touted to make ironing easy. Although skeptical, she tried it at home and loved it! The next summer she was back in Traverse City, wanting to buy another as a gift, but the vendor was gone. Since Kay has been sewing since childhood, she figured out a way to duplicate the pattern and started to make her own. The rest is history. She uses colorful fabric and her special design and the covers work wonders. "Once a customer buys one, they come back for more. The covers make wonderful gifts," Kay said. She also crochets unique, delicate necklaces.
Here's another smiling vendor: Tom Sherwood is happy to be back at the HFM selling wonderful doughnuts and baked goods from Nana's Sweet Treats, Italian and American Bakery. Nana, Italian for Grandma, used to bake these goodies herself, but currently Nana's daughter, Roseanne, is the baker, while husband, Tom, handles the selling. Their bakery is located at the corner of Cedar and Ash in Mason. Tom is smiling because of the delicious quality and popularity of his products. The first two Saturdays at the HFM this year, he sold out! So he brings more product now. His goal? "To have what the customers want," he told me. Nana's offers a full variety of baked goods: eight different breads and rolls; seven types of cake doughnuts as well as long-johns, apple fritters, cinnamon rolls, pecan sticky buns, as well as canolis, baklava and casata cake, "which is very rich." Nana's will take special orders, and does catering. Nana's will bake cakes and pies upon request, which is nice to know with Thanksgiving just around the corner.
I left the HFM last Saturday just delighted with the fun I'd had. I sampled, and then bought, some honey fudge from Willow Blossom Farms. Delicious as it was, the best part for me was that Lorrie had put squash/pumpkin in the fudge!! This odd ingredient didn't affect the taste at all! It just made the fudge taste more substantial, more dense and less guilt-inducing for me, because now the treat was healthy! Okay, healthy-er, anyway.
Country Products was selling concord grapes; Anna, the jewelry lady, was selling scarves; Kay had necklaces she'd made; Carol, the card lady, had a fun Hallowe'en display with sticky notes in a seasonal wrapper, and small packages of Kleenex also in Hallowe'en wrap to put "your little 'boogies' in; Roots Farm (Lansing Food Bank) had lovely pumpkins and gourds and squash...some grown with seeds one of the refugees was able to bring even during their flight from Africa.
So the market is never the same from week to week. I find new, clever and fun things that the vendors have made each time I go. Which is one more reason I love the HFM!
REMEMBER, IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE HOLT FARMERS MARKET!