It’s a Sunday in the summer in Park City, and any local knows what that means: The Park Silly Sunday Market is in full swing.
June through September, it’s a full day during which Main Street is closed to traffic, lined with vendors, and packed full of residents and visitors taking in their fill of the open-air market’s many wares, edibles and entertainment.
The options are endless. Here you’ll find farmers, artisans, jewelers, designers and gourmet food vendors. Stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables, freshly baked bread and locally raised meat at the market on Fifth Street. Snag a custom leather dog collar or a hand-bound journal from a local craftsperson. Join in on an outdoor yoga class. Dance to live music. Peruse the bloody mary bar in all its glory.
For a vendor, Park Silly actually starts days in advance as we prep for market day. For Pink Elephant Coffee Roasters (owned and operated by my husband Mitch and I) that means roasting coffee in small batches Friday and Saturday so we can provide the freshest coffee beans Sunday. The night before, we package the coffee — weighing, bagging, and labeling the beans. Finally, those bags of coffee get loaded into our trailer alongside all of our other market gear: the tent, tables, bags, and other miscellaneous hodgepodge that goes into making our booth.
Then there’s market morning. We’re up at 6 a.m. loading the last items into the trailer, heading to the commissary to brew our coffee samples, maybe grabbing a bite to eat as we head out the door. We get to Main Street in time to unload, park the car and set up. Then, it’s game time. That’s when the fun begins.
The market officially begins at 10 a.m., but people begin wandering the streets in search of goods at around 9 a.m. We’re usually at least partly ready. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., we’re busy handing out samples of the coffee, answering questions from customers, chatting with the regulars, handing out more samples and answering more questions, and (hopefully) selling lots of coffee.
All the hard work is worth it. Take Mozdykuchen, for example, a Salt Lake City-based business specializing in old-world brioche sweetbreads. Founded by Michael and Suzanne Mozdy, the family-owned business uses a centuries-old heirloom Polish sweetbread recipe for delicious results, like Fennel & Fig Toasting Bread.
“We just started our business, and farmers markets are the best way to get out there and get people to know our products,” said Michael Mozdy. We love Park Silly because of the national exposure as well as the local following. We sell online, so we are able to ship all over the country because of this market.”
Yes, you can find the choicest tomatoes or the most delicious beef jerky at the Silly Market. But in doing so, did you know you’re also fostering a thriving community of local growers and makers?
When you buy something at a farmers market, whether it’s a loaf of bread or a bar of chocolate, you are supporting a local business. Often you are supporting the livelihood of the very person who is working that booth. We are all passionate about our products and hope you will be, too.
“The awareness is priceless,” said Jason McClure, who owns ChiliBeak Spicy Roasted Chili Oil alongside his wife Giselle McClure. The duo spends the day handing out samples of their zingy hot sauce alternative, an oil-based chili oil that yields a bold spicy flavor in both Original or Habanero. “Sales are one part, but the farmer’s markets are really for people to find out who we are.”