Canal Winchester Farmers Market vendors expecting 'exciting' season

Scott Gerfen
ThisWeek USA TODAY Network
Seejan Black waves to a customer at the Canal Winchester Farmers Market on June 5. Her business, Black Thai Farm, sells locally grown vegetables and flowers and is one of the market's longest-running booths.

As customers appear at Tina and Scott Banaski’s homemade Italian biscotti stand at the Canal Winchester Farmers Market, the familiar faces begin to stand out. 

The couple’s B’Scotti business has been part of the city’s summer Saturday tradition for five years – but none like last year when the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic left many looking for safer places to shop, such as an outdoor market. 

“We probably had our best year last year,” Tina Banaski said. “It’s hard to believe. … We did great, especially here in Canal. I think people felt safer coming out to an open-air market like this.” 

Whether that success continues this summer remains to be seen, said Karen Stiles, executive director of Destination: Canal Winchester, which promotes the market. 

Because of last summer’s social-distancing and other health requirements, the market was moved from Stradley Place to its current location at the Canal Winchester Historical Society, 100 N. High St., where it is open from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Sept. 25. 

Christine Parsley awaits customers at the Heavenly Treats booth June 5 at the Canal Winchester Farmer's Market. The local business sells vegetables and baked goods.

The market began its 22nd season May 29. 

“Last year, every vendor said this is the best market we’ve had,” Stiles said. “Many of them said it’s the new location, but I said, ‘Hold off. We don’t know that.’ This year will tell the tale. Last year, with the pandemic, could’ve been, ‘Oh, well, there’s finally something to do.’” 

More than 30 vendors are selling everything from produce, local honey and baked goods to homemade T-shirts, quilts and jams and jellies. The complete list of market vendors is available at thecwfm.com

Nicholas Venis of Uncle Andy’s Pantry sells a variety of meat products, such as jerky, sticks and bites made by a relative. 

It is a side business for Venis, a medical laboratory scientist who has done his share of COVID-19 testing. 

“A media consultant recommended I come here last year, and I did very well,” he said. “It’s just a side hustle for me. But I love it, and I really love the community. It’s so much fun.” 

Seejan Black has one of the market’s longest-running booths, Black Thai Farm, which sells fresh, locally grown vegetables and flowers. 

She even grows some vegetables in her home during the winter. 

“We’ve been doing this a long time, maybe 17 years,” she said. “I think people are excited to come out more. It’s been kind of scary, but this year it’s more exciting.” 

editorial@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekNews