This Saturday, Hillsdale’s bakers, jewelers, farmers, seamstresses, and horticulturalists emerged from their secluded alcoves of study, taking time away from academics to share their specialties with the community.
Hillsdale hobbyists gathered under the colonnade outside Mossey Library to peddle their wares at SAB’s first annual Makers Market. Most of the vendors were students selling goods baked, grilled, sewn, crafted, or grown.
In the food department, Juniors Danielle Lee and Trevor Vogel sold grilled Mexican street corn, while senior Bridgid Majmudar and Katie Sorensen ‘15, both members of Hillsdale’s Greek Orthodox community, united to not only introduce campus to Greek spanakopita but also to Greek culture. Greek music blaring, the vendors danced the kalamatiano before intrigued passersby.
Sorensen, dressed in traditional Greek garb, represented the yia, or Greek grandmother, for the group.
“I wear funny clothes like this, encourage people to eat things that are mildly unhealthy, and I did bring bread for everyone to eat, because it was my sourdough starter’s first birthday,” Sorensen said. “Those are basically all my duties as yia.”
A few tables down, past the homemade banana bread, candles, and retro earrings, seniors Madeleine Brylski and Adrianne Fogg brought their green thumbs together, offering a selection of baby succulents, Snake plants, and Wandering Jew plants.
“I am having a blast,” Brylski said. “This is the time of my life. Adrianne and I just love plants so I am so excited to sell plants here today.”
The two heard about the Makers Market this summer and began planning and planting immediately. Brylski said that they both began breaking branches off of their larger Snake and Wandering Jew plants, which they then transferred into small planters for purchase.
The pair also offered sumac tea, which they made simply by dipping a sumac branch into hot water.
“It tastes like Lipton Iced Tea,” Brylski said. “I just want people to know how cool that is. You can literally just rip off a branch and stick it in, and I just really want people to know that they can do that before they all go out of season.”
Further down, the only non-student vendors, Mary and Ezra Bertakis and David Spence of Chef’s Way farm, offered students a selection of watermelon, cherry tomatoes, and an abundance of leafy greens.
Chef’s Way, a local organic farm, provides produce for Bon Appetit. Owner and classically trained chef Ezra Bertakis also offers cooking classes and events at the college.
The farm has another unique connection with the college. Ezra Bertakis’s uncle David Spence just retired from his custodial job at the sports center Sept. 20 after eight years of service. Spence said that when he heard about the Markers Market, he was delighted to have the opportunity to come back.
“My great nephew heard about the market and I said ‘Let me come down. I can visit’,” Spence said. “Everyone meant so much to me here. This was my life. I want to come back and they let me come back here.”
Senior Avery Lacey also said she was thrilled that the Makers Market provided her the opportunity to share her fervor for fermentation— of the tea variety.
Lacey and Rosemary Pynes ‘19 assembled and sold do-it-yourself kombucha starter kits, complete with instructions and baby scoby — a yeast and bacterial culture used to ferment tea — -all bundled together in a miniature ball jar.
“I thought it was a great event and hope they do it again,” Lacey said. “There were a lot of people who came by, who realized ‘Oh, I could make this,’ or ‘ I could make that.’ I think there could be a lot of opportunities for next year.”