Mesa dairy takes farmers market concept indoors - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Mesa dairy takes farmers market concept indoors

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Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 11:55 am | Updated: 6:36 pm, Wed Nov 26, 2014.

Imagine, a farmers market on an actual farm. And with air-conditioning.

That’s what organizers are hoping will draw people to Super Farm Market, a new farmers market open the past two Thursdays in an air-conditioned building at Superstition Farm in Mesa. The market holds its grand opening Thursday.

“It’s the essentials that you use for every single meal — your meat, your bread, your veggies, your dessert,” says market coordinator Jessa Koppenhofer, who’s working with the Mesa dairy’s Stechnij family to launch the venture.

Grocery selections include grass-fed beef from Double Check Ranch, wild-caught fish and crabs from Davy Jones Seafood, bread from Great Harvest Bread Co., and salt, pepper and sugar blends from Go Lb. Salt. There’s also butter, cheese, milk, ice cream and eggs directly from Superstition Farm.

Koppenhofer says she and dairy farmer Casey Stechnij hope to turn the weekly Thursday-night market into more than a shopping trip.

“We really want it to become a family fun night for people away from technology and all the mumbo-jumbo we’ve all got going on. You can drop the kids off at the petting zoo, shop and then they can all have dinner together before they leave,” she says.

The farm will offer hayrides, horseback rides, a play pit filled with cotton seeds, a petting zoo and the chance to feed calves. Activities will cost $1-$3.

Superstition Farm’s chef, Matt McGowan (formerly of the Dutchman’s Hideout fine-dining restaurant in Apache Junction) will offer a dinner menu at the farm’s grill. Entrees run about $5-$9 and so far have included selections like burgers, a spiced-up version of macaroni and cheese called Smack-and-Cheese and hush puppy-like “potato puppies.”

Super Farm Market has about a dozen vendors but will soon clear space to accommodate up to 25 businesses. There’s already a waiting list for food purveyors hoping to sell at the market.

Desert Roots Farm, Made By Bees, Nuts 4 Brittle, Raging Raw Organics and Happy Trails Barkery currently have booths on site.

Unlike at most farmers’ markets, shoppers can select what they want from multiple merchants, then ring up all the items together and pay only once. The market accepts cash, credit or debit cards, says Koppenhofer, who also organizes the Gilbert Farmers Market.

“The biggest thing with Superstition Farm is that it’s actually a working dairy farm — the fact that you can come out to pick up your groceries and tire out your kids, and you’re surrounded by 2,500 cows. It just has this cozy family feeling where as soon as you’re a part of it, you slow down and relax. I think that’s what it’s going to be known for. We’re going to know our customers,” she says.

The air-conditioning doesn’t hurt, either.

MORE FARMERS MARKETS THIS SUMMER:

Ahwatukee Farmers Market

When: 8 a.m. to noon Sundays

Where: 4700 E. Warner Road, behind Blockbuster

Information: (602) 919-9094 or http://www.arizonafarmersmarkets.com

Chickabee Gardens Farmers Market

When: 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. most Saturdays

Where: 17346 E. Melody Lane, Gilbert

Information: http://chickabeegardens.com

Downtown Chandler Farmers Market

When: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays (Official season has closed, but a few vendors still show up.)

Where: Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 3 S. Arizona Ave.

Information: (480) 855–3539 or http://www.downtownchandler.org

Gilbert Farmers Market

When: 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturdays

Where: Gilbert Park & Ride, 222 N. Ash St.

Information: http://www.gilbertfarmersmarket.com

McClintock Fountains Farmers Market

When: 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturdays

Where: 1840 E. Warner Road, Tempe

Information: (480) 389-4828 or http://www.azlocalfarmersmarkets.com

Mesa Community Farmers Market

When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays

Where: 260 N. Center St.

Information: (602) 290-5067 or http://www.arizonafarmersmarkets.com

Queen Creek Farmers’ Market

When: 8 a.m. to noon June 11 and 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. July 9

Where: Queen Creek Library, 21802 S. Ellsworth Road

Information: (480) 358-3704 or http://www.queencreek.org

Downtown Phoenix Public Market

When: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays

Where: 721 N. Central Ave.

Information: (602) 493-5231 or http://www.phoenixpublicmarket.com

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6818 or azajac@evtrib.com

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