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Inspiration at Local Farmers’ Markets

Jacquie with Golden Girl Granola tent at the Shirley Farmers' Market.

Farmers’ Market Fun

The arrival of the spring season brings one of our favorite outdoor gathering spaces, the farmers’ market! This community driven marketplace has an interesting history and is where Golden Girl Granola sold its first products. Take a stroll with us as we explore what makes a farmers’ market so special.

Farmers’ Market History

The first US farmers’ market debuted in Lancaster, Pennsylvania before we were even a country (1730)! According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Lancaster city planners designated a 120 square foot lot in the center of town as a public market place, giving birth to the Lancaster Central Market. The buying and selling of fresh and local produce, meats and baked goods was so popular that “curb markets” started popping up around town. Vendors consisted of local farmers and merchants who set up their wagons on the curb of the streets to sell their goods to the community.

Golden Girl Granola selling products at a farmers' market.

Farmers’ Markets and Golden Girl

Fast forward to the present day and these vibrant markets come in all kinds of configurations, providing opportunities for farmers and artisans across the country. With the ability to sell fresh foods and handmade goods directly to customers, it’s no wonder that the O’Kelly family chose a farmers’ market to debut their granola.

“We attended our first farmers’ market in the summer of 2007 as vendors and instantly fell in love.” says Deborah O’Kelly, owner of Golden Girl Granola. “My daughter Jacquie came up with the idea to sell granola. So we made six flavors and added images of our mascot Gigi. The farmers’ market community was so supportive in not only trying our granola, but sharing their discovery with friends and family.”

We thank the Carlisle farmers’ market community for giving us our start and encouraging us to continue to make beyond delicious granola. Even though we no longer sell our products at farmers’ markets, we still hand-craft it in small, artisan batches to this day.

Check out your local farmers’ market (localharvest.org is a great resource) to find the best of what your community has to offer!