Morgantown Farmers Market opens this summer

Sisters Kathy Bernard and Pam Van der Laan, right, opened The Clock Tower Marketplace, in the Clock Tower Mall, 2846 Main Street, Morgantown. Van der Laan will open Morgantown Farmers Market this summer.

Morgantown Farmers Market opens this summer on the site of the old farmers market, 2846 Main Street, and will be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. A Grand Opening is planned for late July.

This past year Pamela Van der Laan, co-owner of the Clocktower Marketplace on Main Street in Morgantown, has been working to bring back the original Morgantown Farmers Market.

“I grew up in Lancaster County and remember riding my bike on these local roads, collecting soda bottles, then exchanging them for 2 cents or 5 cents at the local store, then off to the market’s penny candy stand. One by one I would pick them out, 1 molasses strip, 3 brown licorice twists, 2 wax soda bottles, and on and on until I had a brown bag of sweet treasures. Today, kids are glued to their phones and games. I want them to come and enjoy the old market feel and old traditions,” said Van der Laan.

She is part of a development committee in the area which has now expanded to 2,000 members of business owners and interested residents. One resounding theme is “We need a Farmers Market”. Everybody misses the places that closed since Walmart came to town.

This is farm country and people grew up on farm to table food, they yearn for those fresh tastes. Old as well as new residents love the smells, the easy shopping, manned by friendly stand owners with their food and wares.

The 8,000-square-foot complex will be filled with food stands, a butcher, a baker, and even a candlestick maker, arcade games, fresh produce, Welsh jams, jellies, salsa, and pickles, hemp, CBD oils, healing arts, dream catchers, and incense diffusers are just some of the items. An outdoor eating area will also be available.

An anchor stand, Sweet Pea of Downingtown owned by Chef Kiesha Colbert will feature everyday comfort food and Southern cooking. She too is fulfilling a childhood dream.

“I am a native of Brooklyn, New York. Every year since I was 4 I spent my summers on the Weaver family dairy farm in Lititz. They had nine kids of their own and they called me Sweet Pea,” said Colbert. “I share the Lancaster and Berks County tradition of family helping family. That is what we will reflect to the public.”

On the farm she milked the cows learned woman kitchen work along with food to table cooking, and back in Brooklyn her grandma taught her Southern cooking. She brings back those childhood inspirations: macaroni and cheese, BBQ, collard greens, casseroles, sweet potato bread, pound cake, bread pudding, and others down-home homemade desserts, and she also caters.

Sweet Pea has cooked with celebrity superstar chefs: Paula Dean of Food and Wine; Chef Guy Mitchell the White House Chef and food staff trainer. She has 19 years of catering experience as well and will cater locally.

A Grand Opening event is planned for late July. New vendors are also welcome. Contact Pamela Van der Laan at 610-913-0042.

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