Murphy ensures smooth operation of Mundelein Farmers Market
Laurie Murphy talks with some of the volunteers (from left) lauren Anderson, Dan Horn and Nick Hadgis at the Mundelein Farmer's Market on Friday, June 22nd. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
NAME: Laurie Murphy
VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Market manager for the Mundelein Farmers Market, volunteers at the weekly farmers market, which is held on Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m. from June through October
MARKET MOTTO: Farm fresh, locally grown
Updated: July 29, 2012 6:46AM
When Mundelein wanted to start a farmers market two years ago, Laurie Murphy took the lead to help get it started.
“I think it was a community need,” said Murphy, market manager of the Mundelein Farmers Market, which is held on Fridays at the corner of Park Street and Seymour Avenue in downtown Mundelein.
“We thought this was a good idea to help bring to downtown Mundelein,” she said. “And we wanted to bring fresh foods and vegetables to the people of Mundelein.”
Murphy said she has always had an interest in farmers markets and in late 2010 she was approached by Mundelein Community Connection, a non-profit downtown redevelopment group, who was looking to start one in downtown Mundelein. At one time, Mundelein had a farmers market in the downtown but had not had one for many years.
Murphy agreed to help in starting the new farmers market and began researching web sites of agricultural producers from throughout the region. In 2011, the farmers market opened with 22 food vendors featuring organic produce and fruits, baked goods, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats and poultry and a variety of other natural products.
Murphy said all of their vegetables are grown in farms within a 40-mile radius of Mundelein to ensure market goers get the freshest produce possible. He said most of the market’s fresh fruits come from a farm in Michigan.
“We do farm visits to verify what they’re selling,” she said. “Every farm here is a sustainable or organic grower, which means they don’t use chemicals or pesticides.”
Murphy said the Mundelein Farmers Market also offers unique products that aren’t typically found at other farmers markets such as Nordic Creamery, an artisan cheese and butter maker from Wisconsin; Arnold’s Farm, an Elizabeth farm specializing in natural grain- and grass-finished beef, chicken and poultry; and Taste of Paris, a local French bakery from Mundelein.
John and Elaine Markeli of Mundelein, one of the new vendors to the market this year, sell Nana’s Rum Cakes, hand-made bundt style rum cakes. They started selling them at farmers markets in Mundelein and Grayslake for the first time this year.
“We like this one,” he said. “Being Mundelein residents we know a lot of people and that helps too.”
Terry Skriba, executive director of Mundelein Community Connection, which runs the farmers market, said Murphy was the “driving force” behind getting the market started and puts in countless volunteer hours at the market every Friday during the season. Skriba estimates Murphy put in more than 800 volunteers on last year’s farmers market and was named the organization’s Volunteer of the Year for 2011.
“We’re lucky to have Laurie at our farmers market,” she said.