by Steven Wright
CentreCare Health launched its very first Farmers’ Market in Sartell last Thursday June 11, showcasing local vendors and offering health-conscious recipes and tips for patients and families.
The new event, which partners with existing vendors from Market Monday in Sartell, will bring in specialists and dietitians to provide healthy food alternatives and recipes. Food choices at the market vary from gluten-free baked goods, fresh vegetables, meat and eggs, to caramel corn and fresh coffee.
Megan Lensing is a program development specialist with the Coborn Cancer Center and is helping to raise awareness of the positive benefits and healthy choices the new market offers.
“Each week we will feature a different product from one of our vendors, explain the health benefits, and show smart ways to incorporate the items into your life,” Lensing said.
One way CentraCare plans to feature these products is through their newsletter which will be available at the market every week. The first issue featured the benefits of asparagus and provided a healthy chicken and asparagus recipe, while including tips on staying active throughout the summer.
Steve Zupek of Sartell brought his unique, craft-roasted coffee business – North Star Roastery to the market on Thursday and enjoyed being a part of CentraCare’s new event. Zupek has been roasting his specialty coffee for more than six years and has a keen sense of what coffee lovers are looking for.
“Fresh is best,” Zupek said. “I put the roast date on every bag I sell. If you buy something at a grocery store you never know when it was roasted.”
Zupek was one of 12 vendors who helped make Thursday’s event a success. CentraCare looks to expand its list of vendors in the coming months and build awareness of the healthy options available to everyone in the community.
The CentraCare farmers market will take place every Thursday until Oct. 15, from 2-6 p.m. in the River East parking lot at CentraCare Plaza. More information can be found at centracare.com.