Nov 152015

Holiday shopping starts this upcoming weekend! The Salem Winter Market returns in a new & improved form with special presentations on Sunday, November 22nd from 3 – 7 pm, and Saturday, December 19th from 1 – 5 pm. The indoor market will take place at 217 Essex Street on the pedestrian mall (the Naumkeag Trust building, formerly home to The Gathering).

KylieDid you note that one is before Thanksgiving and the other before Christmas? They could almost be called “Holiday” winter markets. Did that play into the specific dates?

“Absolutely,” explains Kylie Sullivan, executive director of Salem Main Streets and organizer of the market. “There’s a LOT of shopping that needs to be done for the holidays, whether you need ingredients for cooking, gifts for family, friends, or colleagues, or maybe even just a treat for yourself to relieve the stress of this crazy time of year!”

She reveals“The Winter Market has been a fantastic opportunity to support local farms and artisans through the holiday season, but the weekly weekday market we’ve done in past years just wasn’t working for a lot of our customers.”

“Having two weekend events will be much more convenient for many of our shoppers, as well as our vendors. We’re very excited to showcase so many of our usual Farmers’ Market favorites as well as some new vendors in this unique space.”

Obviously, due to the seasonality of produce, many vendors at Salem Winter Market will have very different offering that you’re used to seeing at the summer Salem Farmers’ Market. There will be a lot of squash, leafy greens, and root vegetables, and some of the farmers will be carrying decorative holiday greens, including garlands, wreaths, and kissing balls. There will also be a larger mix of vendors with prepared foods, including baked goods, sweets, and pickles.

winter MarketBut there’s more to the scheduling than meets the eye.

Sullivan adds, “We’ve also timed them to fit in with other community events and increase the festive feeling downtown on those days.”

For example:

  • Sunday, Nov. 22 from 2 pm to 5 pm, the Salem Collective of Artists and Musicians (SCAM) will be leading a free lantern-making workshop at the Salem Arts Center (179 Essex Street),  in preparation for Santa’s Arrival and the Tree Lighting on Friday, Nov. 27.
  • Also on Sunday, Nov. 22, from 11 am to 7 pm, the tenants on Artists’ Row will also be holding a special pop-up shopping event
  • Saturday, Dec. 19, there will be a Salem Holiday Market being held at Old Town Hall with a number of local artisans.

Something else to be excited about is your continued support of the Farmers’ Market in this 2.0 world.

Sullivan reflects, “At a time when you can buy anything from the internet without out ever speaking to a living person, I think people really miss having a personal relationship with the people who are making the products they buy, and where they can interact with their community. At these markets, you can actually talk to the people who’ve made the lotion, who’ve raised the chickens, who’ve stitched the clothes.”

“You see your neighbors, catch up with long-lost friends, and say hi to a chef from one of our wonderful downtown restaurants as they shop for ingredients for that night’s menu. There’s so much added value when you shop at local markets like ours.”

The Salem Farmers’ Market and Winter Market are organized by Salem Main Streets with assistance from Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, and the City of Salem, Salem Chamber of Commerce, and numerous volunteers. For further information regarding current vendors and Winter Market updates, refer to the Market’s website, Facebook, and Twitter pages, or contact Kylie Sullivan directly at 978-744-0004 x15.

Nov 272014

Thanksgiving may signal that the year is almost over— but not as far as activities to see and do in Salem Ma! So, as you go about your Turkey Day preparations at home, or on way to grandma’s house (or wherever you are going), here are some ingredients for the rest of the year:

Salem HolidayHoliday Tree Lighting
Holiday Art Market
Four Centuries of Christmas at the Gables
Christmas in Salem
“A Christmas Carol” Trolley Tour
Santa’s Arrival at the Hawthorne
Small Business Saturday
Salem Winter Market

We’ll be telling you more about these and other events in upcoming blogs. Didn’t want to stuff you with too much… info today.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 222014

KylieWhat do the over 100 restaurants, gift shops, other stores and attractions in Salem Ma have in common right now? Besides good bargains and eclectic choices, they have heat! Temperatures today (Saturday) are not expected to rise beyond the upper 30s. So you can sit at home, or go to a cold impersonal mall — or make Salem a one-stop warm & toasty shopping/dining daytrip destination. (This also applies to Sunday, or for that matter any day you would like to visit.)

But don’t take our word for it. Friday’s Salem Gazette had an article and an interview related to downtown shopping.

In the first of two front page stories, the emphasis was on the lengths North Shore communities (including Salem) go during the holiday season to invite and involve the community in local shopping over malls and big-box stores.

Ethan Hartley wrote “…local businesses in Massachusetts can offer something that you will be hard pressed to find under the bleak, florescent lights of a conglomerate store or a shopping mall — old-fashioned holiday cheer and excitement with an emphasis on building a strong community.”

Community is a key word. Salem Main Streets endeavors to work with our downtown merchants to design and promote events which increase business traffic and cement customer support/loyalty. The second article, an interview by Gregg Phipps with our manager Kylie Sullivan points to one of those projects, the Salem Winter Market.

Is the Winter Market successful in bringing people downtown to shop and do you think more and more people are turning away from mall shopping?

“That’s certainly the hope. There are so many great shops in downtown Salem, and we try really hard to ensure that our vendor offerings at the Winter Market complement rather than compete with the surrounding businesses.”

Kylie went on to explain that as much as the Market brings vendors to downtown Salem, it also creates a community gathering space in downtown Salem where residents and visitors from neighboring towns stop to chat with the vendors, other shoppers and even with merchants in surrounding stores.

Shopping need not be impersonal. It can be fun. The Winter Market will be closed this week in light of Thanksgiving but will be open again on Dec. 4, 11 and 18. Our stores, restaurants and attractions are open now. And the warmth you feel when you go inside comes from the people, as well as the heating vents.

Nov 122014


The Salem Winter Market is back and better than ever!  The Winter Market will run Thursdays from 3 pm to 7 pm, Nov. 13th through Dec. 18th (no market on Thanksgiving). Brought to you by Salem Main Streets, the City of Salem, and the same amazing team of volunteers who brought you the Salem Farmers’ Market, the Winter Market returns to its old home this year down on Artists’ Row, in between Front Street and New Derby Street.  The buildings along the Row will be chock full of all kinds of produce, spices, pasta, baked goods, jewelry, soaps, and much, much more – just in time for the holidays!

This year’s Winter Market will see the return of many of your old favorites (including Grant Family Farm, Long Hill Orchard, Salem Spice, Salem Soapworks, Mandy’s Wicked Chowdah, Shine Jewelry, Valicenti Organico, and Wolf Meadow Farm), some of your more recent favorites (Stillman’s, Jodi Bee Bakes, Auntie Elsie’s, and Far From the Tree Hard Cider), and some brand new friends (including SeaSalt Design, Sugar Coated Heaven, All Fruit Inc., New England Dog Biscuit Company, Green Phoenix Threads, and Witch City Wicks).

One important thing to note this year is that not all vendors will be there all weeks, so each week will have a different array of goods to offer.  We’re starting a little smaller the first week with only two buildings, but each week will grow and expand a little more.  See the full list of vendors and dates here.

Be sure to join us every week for the all the local quality, variety, and whimsy that you’ve come to expect from the Salem Farmers’ Market!  (Seriously, did you notice that you can make your own turkey centerpiece using the poster?!).




Oct 222014
2014-09-04 14.55.25

Ahhh, the good old days…

Sadly, after weeks and weeks of beautiful weather, our Salem Farmers’ Market has ended its season a little earlier than planned due to a good old-fashioned New England nor’easter. Due to the anticipated rain and wind, we have pre-emptively canceled the final market on Oct. 23 for the safety of our vendors and customers.

But what a tremendous season it’s been!  We’ve helped over 30 small, local businesses connect face-to-face with their customers on a weekly basis.  We welcomed an average of more than 2,100 visitors every week for 18 weeks.  Word of mouth is that sales were generally up from last year, and many weeks saw vendors completely sold out of their most popular items.  Over 20 local nonprofits were able to share their message with the community – from the Plummer Home to the Phillips House Museum to  No Place for Hate.  And hopefully, you all tried something new – a new vegetable, a new recipe, or maybe even a whole new way of shopping.

We have a lot of people to thank for the success of this season.  Without our amazing vendors and their wonderful products, there would be no market.  Without the countless volunteers (especially our rockstar Farmers’ Market committee) who lug tables, manage our social media, or greet our customers, there would be no market.  Without our sponsors, including Salem Five Bank, Solarize Salem, Next Step Living, and Salem Chiropractic, and all our partners, like the City of Salem, Mass in Motion, Salem Food Tours, and the Salem Chamber of Commerce, there would be no market.  And of course, without all of YOU there would be no market!

Before we call this season “over”, please tell us a little more about you and what you’d like to see at the market.

But don’t despair – the Salem Main Streets will be bringing Salem Winter Market will be back again this year!  Starting on November 13 and ending December 18, we will be down on Artists’ Row every Thursday except Thanksgiving from 3 pm to 7 pm.  We’ll have some exciting new vendors, especially a few new craft vendors, but we’ll also welcome back a number of your Farmers’ Market favorites – including, but not limited to, Grant Family Farm, Jodi Bee Bakes, Salem Spice, Salem Soapworks, Shine Jewelry/Heritage Handmade, Far From the Tree Cider, and Valicenti Organico.  The final list of vendors will be posted within the week on