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A vendor helps cus­tomers at the Valen­tine’s Day Farmers’ Market. Eliz­abeth Troutman | Col­legian

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.”