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  WINDY CITY TIMES

South Loop Farmers Market opens June 16
From a press release
2016-06-07

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Located at historic church, featuring music, children's activities and more

CHICAGO — The South Loop Farmers Market, a unique sustainable-foods marketplace that features a partnership with McCormick Place, opens June 16 on the grounds of the National Historic Landmark Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Ave., 4-8 p.m. every Thursday through Sept. 29.

The South Loop Farmers Market ( SLFM ), founded by businesswomen Tina Feldstein and Stephanie Lu Jokich, features vendors selling local farm-fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, specialty foods and other artesian products.

A key sponsor of the SLFM is the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority ( MPEA ). McCormick Place has embraced the locally grown food movement with their own 20,000-square-foot rooftop farm on the West Building. The space is a partnership between SAVOR...Chicago, a restaurant and catering business based in the convention center, and the Chicago Botanic Garden. With the help of apprentices who work through an educational program, the rooftop provides about 10,000 pounds of produce each year to SAVOR and promotes local sustainable agriculture and opportunities to train city residents for careers in urban agriculture. SAVOR will also sponsor chef demonstrations showcasing their locally grown foods.

Savor…Chicago is among the many vendors at the market, which will also include Liege Style Waffles, Windy City Harvest ( Chicago Botanic Garden ), & Popcorn, West Side Bee Boyz, Magic Circle Crepes, Yoberri, Hardin Family Farm, Faith's Farm, Stamper Cheese, Finn's Ranch, Steven Frank Farms and more vendors to be announced.

There will also be special activities for children including face painting, education activities, and a custom South Loop coloring book by artist Sean Mac.

Second Presbyterian, a Gothic Revival church, will host free tours of its historic sanctuary every Thursday during market hours. Trained docents will highlight the significant features of the Arts and Crafts style utilized by Shaw in the rebuilding of the sanctuary. Second Presbyterian is home to pieces of American art including stained-glass windows designed and created in 1917 by Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company and Tiffany Studios, and a series of 13 murals in the Pre-Raphaelite style designed and executed by Frederic Clay Bartlett. Second Presbyterian's Lunchbag Program has been serving up to 300 guests each week. The church also host the Second Time Around Resale Shop in the basement, and it will be open during market hours only.

Attendees can also walk to the nearby Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation, 2120 S. Michigan Ave., to hear free blues performances every Thursday 6-7 p.m. One of the most important sites in blues history, nearly every blues great passed through this building when it was home to Chess Records. That building now houses Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation. A major blues hotspot where Muddy Waters, Ahmad Jamal, Chuck Berry, Aretha Franklin, Bo Diddley, Etta James, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Ramsey Lewis and many other greats recorded during Chicago's bluesiest period. The Rolling Stones also recorded there, paying tribute in their instrumental "2120 S. Michigan Avenue." Many Chicago blues greats have been know to just "show up and play," so don't miss this!

Big Shoulders Chicago ( BSC ), founded by Abigail Savage, will also be part of SLFM, providing free yoga, group and personalized training classes. Market goers can also enjoy the best in massage therapy and body work and mobility workshops.

"The South Loop has so much to offer, and our Farmers Market provides a window into this historic area," said SLFM's Tina Feldstein. "We will be connecting a vibrant and thriving community with local farms and small businesses, a market with a purpose."

"We are excited to once again provide a quality farmers market south of Roosevelt Road," said Stephanie Lu Jokich. "We could not be more thrilled to provide such an exciting weekly destination to bring together residents and travelers alike."

SLFM partners include the Second Presbyterian Church, MPEA, Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance, Russland Capital Group - South Loop, LLC, James McHugh Construction Co., and Lakeside Bank.

For more details, see www.southloopfarmersmarket.com .

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/southloopfarmersmarket/ .

ABOUT THE FOUNDERS

Tina Feldstein: Tina heads up marketing and sponsorship at the market. She moved into Chicago's Prairie District in 2004 because she loved the area and, admittedly, had a long-time fascination/obsession with the history of Prairie Avenue. Also a successful realtor, in 2006, Feldstein formed the now successful and influential Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance ( PDNA ), a community organization for social get-togethers, where neighbors can get to know one another and have a sense of community. The PDNA's core focus area extends from Roosevelt Road ( 1200 South ) to the Stevenson Expressway ( 2500 South ), and from Lake Shore Drive to Michigan Avenue west.

Stephanie Lu Jokich: Stephanie is in charge of bringing the creative forces of the farmers market to life. After years of volunteering and working on many food and farm-oriented projects throughout Chicago, Stephanie's been on a quest to synergize her professional career with food-awareness. By day, she works for FIG Catering as a wedding and special event manager, providing sustainable plus creative menu planning for her clients and day-of coordination at each event. In the Fall of 2016 she is set to launch Nightsnacks, an entertainment-based series of events to support local food, as well as host her first art show featuring mix-media paintings and photography.


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