FEATURING THE WHEATON FRENCH MARKET With summer in full swing and the temperature getting increasingly warmer, there is no better way to take advantage of the season in Dupage County then shopping at some of the many outdoors markets. The Wheaton French Market is a particularly good way to spend a Saturday morning especially during the summer when produce is fresh and the weather is ideal. The open-air market, located in downtown Wheaton just south of the tracks at Main and Liberty, is one of the most popular and longest running market of its kind organized by Bensoudin USA Inc. It brings the Parisian culture of a public mixed market right here to the county while highlighting the best of the Midwest—local farmers, artisans, businesses and craftsmen.
You can walk the Wheaton streets and enjoy everything from fresh produce and fruit to locally sourced honey or jam. You can also add unique jewelry pieces to your wardrobe or purchase hand crafted soap among other authentic items. Vendors like The Cheese People, Twisted Olive, Pet Chef, Garlic Underground and many more, occupy the streets every Saturday from 8am-2pm.
Even in the pouring rain, the vendors set up their shops and fill them with the fruits of their labor as customers still eagerly flock to the market. In fact, it is on the crummiest of days that the strongest sense of community can be observed at the Wheaton French Market. Vendors pack their shops tightly together and set up tarps to combat rain as they idly chat with each other and the community members who come out to support their local artisans and small businesses.
Jane Hurst, owner of Jane’s Herbs, has been selling her organic herbs, spices and hemp oils for 12 years at the Wheaton French Market. Hurst says she most enjoys being in the outdoors and also loves all the people.
“I think [the market] is very important for the community too as it offers a versatility in fresh organic fruits and vegetables and it allows vendors an opportunity to sell their labors,” Hurst says. As a licensed master herbalist and professor at a local herbal college, Hurst gets to have her students participate as well which she says is always a good thing to see.
Many college students in the area who are studying fields such as sustainability, business, or agriculture participate in the weekly market, expanding its role of providing a pleasurable experience for community members by also serving as a learning experience for participating students.
This summer, take the Saturday to embrace the French culture and interact with the community. You can make a whole day out of this opportunity by biking to the market along the Illinois Prairie Path or use the fresh food to spice up your diet and try cooking new things in the kitchen. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE WRITER Kelsey Lentz is an incoming junior at Penn State University and is majoring in digital and print journalism with a minor in digital media trends and analytics. After graduation, Kelsey hopes to pursue a career in the magazine industry that combines her passions for writing and digital storytelling. We met up with Kelsey earlier to learn more about her. Kelsey is one of Glancer Magazine’s Summer 2018 Editorial Interns. She will be writing about unique Arts + Entertainment locations throughout DuPage County through September. Learn more about her at www.GlancerMagazine.com/Education-News