The Grove City Farmers Market wrapped up its spring market June 24 with a day featuring spring-like weather.

"We've been blessed with some good weather for the market so far, and we hope it will continue for our summer market," said Marilyn Reiner, events manager for the Grove City Chamber of Commerce.

The summer market kicks off on Saturday, July 1, and will feature approximately 45 vendors, Reiner said.

The market, presented by the chamber, is held 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Sept. 9 at Park Street and Broadway in the Town Center.

With an expanded roster of vendors compared to the spring market, the summer market offers customers a variety of choices to complete most of their weekly food shopping, Reiner said.

"The summer market is when we get most of our fruit and vegetable producers coming in," she said.

In addition to fresh produce, the summer market features vendors selling pasta, spaghetti sauces, homemade popcorn, gourmet pickles, bison beef, pork, lamb, chicken, bread and other baked goods, honey, noodles, two types of coffee and eggs from chicken, geese and ducks, Reiner said.

"We'll even have some natural skin care and beauty products available," she said.

Each week, the market holds a drawing for a gas grill and features a demonstration by a local chef preparing dishes using ingredients bought that day at the market, Reiner said. Proceeds from the raffle benefit the chamber foundation.

Later in the summer, the market will hold the chiefs and mayor's challenges, in which police and fire officials join city officials in a cook-off featuring items from market vendors.

"Those are always such fun events," Reiner said.

One of the vendors at a recent market was enjoying the interaction with visitors.

Robert Chapman was selling jC's Ice Tea, a southern-style iced tea created by his wife, Jackie, based on her family's recipe,

"This is the real stuff -- authentic southern iced tea," he said. "It's not your ordinary tea. You try one bottle and taste that sweet flavor, you'll be back wanting more."

Jackie is from the Greenville, South Carolina, area, where members of her family still live, Chapman said.

"Sweet tea is a tradition in the South," he said. "It's always a big part of your Sunday dinner.

"We go back there often for family reunions and the holidays and we always looked forward to enjoying her family's sweet tea," Chapman said.

"One day, we just had an epiphany -- maybe we could take her family's recipe and turn it into a business," he said.

The recipe is all natural, he said.

The couple, who live in Pataskala, started jC's Ice Tea in 2010. The beverage is now sold at numerous stores, including Kroger and Meijer. The brand has been expanded to include two varieties of lemonade along with sweet tea.

But Chapman said he enjoys selling jC's Ice Tea at farmers markets.

"We participate in six markets. I just really love getting the chance to meet people and interact with them," he said. "I'm a people person. I'm a true Aquarius."

At their booth, Dave and Valerie Stynchula were selling plants to benefit the Grove City-based Stynchula Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission of raising funds to support the treatment and research for children with autism.

"Our family had a friend whose child had autism and it inspired us to turn an event we were planning into a fundraising event to support children with autism and their families," Dave Stynchula said.

"It just took off from there. We have a golf outing every year at Pinnacle and do a lot of other fundraising activities to support our foundation," he said.

The foundation sponsors an annual football and cheerleading camp for autistic children between the ages of 5 and 18. The camp will be held Aug. 20 at Grove City High School.

"What's neat about it is that the coaches have arranged so that all of the Grove City football players participate in the camp and work with the kids," Stynchula said. "It's a great experience for the kids, but I think the football players and cheerleaders get a lot out of it, too."

A similar camp is being planned for the Dublin area, he said.

The foundation also is working on securing a location for a camp for young and older adults on the autism spectrum.

"It will be a camp where they will be able to learn life and work skills they use going forward," Stynchula said.

Since its inception in 2000, the foundation has raised more than $115,000 for the Intensive Behavioral Intervention Program at the Autism Center of Nationwide Children's Hospital.

The foundation "has been such a great experience for our family. It's something with meaning we can do together as a family," he said.

More information about the foundation is available at stynchulafoundation.org.

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