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New Lakeview Farmers Market: 'Pride and Produce' to Debut at Belmont-Clark

By Serena Dai | March 31, 2014 6:24am
 The Daley Center city farmers market. Lakeview will soon be getting a bigger farmers market at the corner of Belmont and Clark.
The Daley Center city farmers market. Lakeview will soon be getting a bigger farmers market at the corner of Belmont and Clark.
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Jim Watkins

BOYSTOWN —  Lakeview's getting its own full-sized farmers market this summer — and the market run by an LGBT chamber of commerce will offer, as they put it, "not just fruits."

The Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce will host the Pride and Produce Community Market on Saturdays from June 7 - Oct. 4 in the MB Financial Bank parking lot, 3179 N. Clark St., at the corner of Belmont and Clark.

Other small farmers markets have popped up in the neighborhood, such as one at Nettelhorst Elementary and Southport's Low Line Market, but the Pride and Produce market will outsize them with some 40 vendors each week.

"We're in a food desert here," said Marie Hale Ramos, assistant director at the chamber. "There's not an easy place for Lakeview to connect with a really great market."

Booths are not finalized yet, but vendors will include typical farmer's market folk that sell organic greens and produce, she said. Other fare will largely be "foodie-based" products, including chamber members such as gourmet olive oil purveyor Oh, Olive.

Four food trucks from a rotating cast will also be at the market every week, along with tables for people to sit and chat, Ramos said.

And during big Boystown events like Pride Fest, Pride Parade and Market Days, the parking lot will be filled only with 15-20 food trucks for Food Truck Fests.

The fests will feature entertainment and events, such as "Top Chef"-style cook-off before the parade. Cupcakes for Courage, The Fat Shallot, Haute Sausage and Cheesie's are already signed up to appear at the market at some point.

Part of the market's purpose is to showcase the city's gay and ally business owners, Ramos said. It also offers an opportunity to connect more directly with people living in the area, she said.

"We have a phenomenal space out there," she said. "We are a touchstone for the Boystown community. It really is our responsibility to drive economic diversity here in the Chicago area."

If all goes well, Ramos and chamber director Christina Pinson plan to make the Pride and Produce farmers market a Lakeview mainstay.

"We’re really, really excited about bringing something big to the area and creating a tradition amongst the Lakeview community and Boystown," she said.