On Feb. 6 and 13, Ad Astra Coffee Roaster’s Valentine’s Day Market gave vendors from the community the opportunity to share the fruits of their labor.
Kristi and Patrick Whalen, who moved to Hillsdale from Kansas in May, opened the market in November.
“It’s been this really awesome underground community of people hanging out, getting to know each other,” Giana Green, owner of Mangia Italian Bakery, said. “I wanted to bring some really beautiful things like flowers and art and jewelry and baked goods all together to kind of be like a one-stop-shop for your Valentine’s Day.”
Green sells cookies, pasta, and other Italian treats at Ad Astra’s indoor market every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
It was Green’s idea to put together a Valentine’s day theme on the Saturdays leading up to the 14th.
“This is something that happens every single Saturday. We are always here, we always have cookies, and we always have coffee,” Green said. “We always have a place to sit and hang out.”
Mangia Italian Bakery started off at the Hillsdale Farmers Market before Ad Astra co-owner Kristi Whalen invited her to join Ad Astra’s indoor market every Saturday morning at 106 N. Broad St.
“My love language is food so it’s just been really fulfilling for me to be able to feed the community and share my family and my traditions,” Green said.
Other vendors included Black Dog Meadows Flower Farm, Clexo Paintings and Graphic Design, SGB Bakes, and Zoe Ray Designs.
Hillsdale College swim coach Zoe Tracy represented her homemade earring company, Zoe Ray Designs. She started making earrings and selling them at the farmers’ market as a quarantine project.
Each week the earring boards are completely sold out. They are a huge hit among Hillsdale women, Green said.
“Zoe Tracy’s earring business is amazing. I found the perfect pair of earrings for President’s Ball,” attendee and junior Rachel Kookogey said.
SGB Bakes offered gluten-free baked goods. Kaitlyn Dear of Clexo Paintings and Graphic Design scans and digitizes her watercolor paintings to put on items like mugs, face coverings, and sweatshirts.
Hillsdale Collegiate Assistant Professor Catherine Kuiper said the market has a lot to offer.
“There are some very talented people in this town. And then there are people like me, unable to walk past a display of flowers without buying a bouquet.”