Revolution at the Skippack Farmer’s Market

Jason Skippack Farmer's Mark

Jason Brown, the owner of Love Hot Dog Company, is the new manager of the Skippack Farmer’s Market.

What: The new 2014 Skippack Farmer’s Market

When: The Skippack Farmer’s Market will be held every Friday, opening at 4 pm and closing at dusk, from now until mid-November 2014.

Where: The location will remain the same as last year, along Skippack Pike, across from the WaWa, in the market lot next to Chiaro’s Pizzeria, near the intersection of Route 113; the street address is 4112 Skippack Pike.

Often we say “one step at a time” but incremental improvements are not always sufficient; occasionally, one needs to make a drastic overhaul, a revolutionary change, a reboot from the hard drive. Such a moment has come to a great local institution; the Skippack Farmer’s Market.

The question: Who among us can handle the transition, organize and manage change, storm the Bastille, deliver the produce, and revive the Skippack Farmer’s Market to its fullest potential?

Meet the Guy with the Tie-Dye T-shirt

Jason’s wife Melissa helping their two sons make lemonade; this photo was taken at the Skippack Farmer’s Marker in August 2012.

Jason’s wife Melissa helping their two sons make lemonade; this photo was taken at the Skippack Farmer’s Marker in August 2012.

Fortunately, fate and local real estate developer Dave Markel, who owns the lot where the market is held, have appointed my friend Jason Brown in charge of revolutionizing the Farmer’s Market in Skippack. Jason is the owner and chef at the Love Hot Dog Company, a mobile food service known for exotic sandwiches which serves lunch weekdays in Skippack.

The Skippack Farmer’s Market was where I first met Jason two years ago. I remember the day. His wife Melissa was helping their two young sons slice lemons for their lemonade stand. Jason was in a trailer behind them wearing a bright, colorful tie-dye t-shirt and cooking up hot dogs. My wife and I both sensed this family business would become a great resource for Skippack.

Since then, I’ve collaborated with Jason on Skippack blog posts, worked with him on the launch of the new Best of Skippack website, and spoken with him at many Skippack events, where his Love Hot Dog Company Food Truck is a welcome presence.

Jason is both visionary and go-getter. He dreams his dreams with two feet planted firmly in the earth. He gets the job done. He is keenly aware of the day-to-day demands of building and sustaining a successful locally-based enterprise.

New time: Friday Late Afternoon

Under Jason’s direction, the time of Skippack Farmer’s Market will move from Sunday mornings to Fridays afternoons, beginning at 4:00 pm.

“With a Friday time slot, we can link the market to First Fridays, which take place once a month, though we’ll be here every Friday. Hopefully, a new schedule will help bring in a new influx of people. People who want to grab some produce at the market can stop by on their way to the Jersey shore or on their way home from a restaurant or happy hour in Skippack.”

New Vendors for 2014

Bread from Corropolese Bakery, a local favorite,  will be available at the Skippack  Farmer's Market in 2014.

Bread from Corropolese Bakery, a local favorite, will be available at the Skippack Farmer’s Market in 2014.

Since opening the Love Hot Dog Company in Skippack, Jason has expanded to multiple food trucks and launched the Conspiracy Food Truck Crew, a mobile food management company, which will provide the framework for bringing food trucks owned and run by other chefs into Skippack for our Farmer’s Market. The name of the Facebook page for the new Skippack Farmer’s Market is the “Skippack Farmer’s Market & Food Truck Pod.”

“Several food trucks will be at the Skippack Farmer’s Market, and with different trucks offering different types of food each week”

In addition to food trucks, here is a partial list of vendors scheduled for the 2014 Skippack Farmer’s Market:

  • Jubilee Hill Farms; organic produce greens and speciality herbs
  • Macdougalls Irish victory cakes (only on first Fridays)
  • Jenny & Franks Artisan Gelato
  • Lavinia’s Cookies
  • A coffee roaster
  • Behmerwald Nursery (various dates)
  • Delphinium Bakery
  • Alchemy Crystals
  • Mojo’s Pop Co.; gourmet popcorn
  • Freeland Market; sausage and cured meats (returning vendor)
  • Angela’s Raw Honey
  • Corropolese Bakery; breads, tomato pies, an area favorite

A New Platform for Local Business and Nonprofits

The Skippack Blogger 9at right) hanging out with Jason Brown, the new manager of the Skippack Farmer's Market, at 4th of July Festivities in Skippack.

The Skippack Blogger (at right) hanging out with Jason Brown, the new manager of the Skippack Farmer’s Market, at 4th of July Festivities in Skippack.

“The new slogan for the Skippack Farmer’s Market is going to be ‘Cultivating our community talent,’” explains Jason. “We want to feature a different local businesses each week, especially individually-owned shops and service-providers in Skippack. We also want to feature nonprofit organizations in our area; we’d love to have organizations like the Skippack Fire Company, 4-H, Harley’s Haven Dog Rescue, Playcrafters of Skippack; and local high school clubs.

“Our goal is to create a platform for promoting organizations and services throughout the community. Featured businesses and non-profit organizations will be set up with a special location to display items and provide information.

“We will not charge local businesses or nonprofit organizations in Skippack who want to be featured in the Farmer’s Market. This will be a free service.”

A Vendor Driven Market

“Once our vendors are on board, they will have an opportunity to have a say in how things are run. I want the new market to be vendor-driven,” Jason explains. “My plan is to create a vendor board, a forum for people who sell at our market to put forward new ideas.

“It’s not my market, it’s our market. I want input from a core group of vendors who want to help it grow and make sure it remains fun and worthwhile for all who participate.

“I don’t have all the ideas we will need,” says Jason, “I need other people’s ideas and welcome them.”

Keeping it Alive, Making it Grow

Jason Brown, the owner of the Love Hot Dog Company, is an entrepreneur bring ideas to life.

Jason Brown, the owner of the Love Hot Dog Company, is an entrepreneur bringing new ideas to life. What started out as the Love Hot Dog company, which featured natural all-beef hot dogs with exotic toppings, is expanding.

“I am not getting paid to manage the Skippack Farmer’s Market,” Jason explains. “I am doing it to stop a local tradition from falling by the wayside. Farmer’s markets in surrounding communities have grown and ours hasn’t. Collegeville and many other farmer’s markets in the area are experiencing great success yet they are younger than the Skippack Farmer’s Market.”

From my talk with Jason, and from knowing him these past two years, it’s clear the farmer’s market finally has the leadership it needs. The rest is up to us. Please come out Friday afternoons and support the new Skippack farmer’s Market.

Wanted: Crafters, Vendors, Small Business Owners, Non-Profits, Sponsors

The Skippack Farmer’s Market is looking for:

  • Crafters, vendors, and small business owners who want to sell at the Skippack Farmer’s Market
  • Shops, service providers, groups, and nonprofit organizations in Skippack and the immediate surrounding area, who would like to be featured as part of the Farmer’s Market program to highlight local talent and resources (there is no cost to participate)
  • Businesses that would like to sponsor advertising, such as flyers and circulars, for the Skippack Farmer’s Market

If interested, please contact Jason Brown at [email protected] or call 215-783-5710.