It was a chilly Saturday morning at the opening for the European Market in Chesterton, but that didn’t stop vendors from all over Northwest Indiana and beyond from coming to the first of the weekly Saturday morning market.
For 14 years now, the European Market in the quant downtown of Chesterton has welcomed people from all over the region looking for fresh and delicious or handmade items. Chicagoland vendors and even ones from neighboring states selling everything from pastries, clothes, jewelry, and more gather together every Saturday morning between the months of May and October.
“The market has been going on for 14 years now, and we even have some vendors who have been here all 14 years and some who are brand new,” said Deanna Kasch, Market Manager for the Duneland Chamber of Commerce.”It’s a family event that sells everything from art, bread, cheeses, clothes, you name it. And we also have live music for everyone to enjoy.”
Hundreds of people filtered in and out of booths Saturday morning with their families and friends, looking for a delicious dessert or breakfast, a specialty wine, beautiful glass and porcelain dishes, dog treats for man’s best friend, and so much more.
“It’s such a nice gathering spot for the community,” said Jacqueline Thomas, Incoming Market Manager for the Duneland Chamber. “Saturday mornings are kind of the time and place for everyone to get together. People come from all over and it’s great exposure for businesses. It shows people a lot of what Chesterton has to offer and it brings some great opportunities to our brick and mortar businesses.”
The European Market has been very welcoming to businesses who venture out every Saturday morning. Veteran businesses like Bit Of Swiss, an old world, European bakery in Stevensville, Michigan, make the 40 minute trip to Chesterton every week to sell their delicious pastries, breads, and coffee cakes and meet hundreds of kind and welcoming people.
“We get so many of the same customers every week and since there isn’t really anything like us around here, we’re really successful every Saturday morning,” said David Cline, the representative of Bit Of Swiss. “Everyone is so nice here, so we really enjoy the customers and meeting new people.”
While many businesses like Bit Of Swiss are veterans of the European Market, newcomers like Emily Waddell, who makes signature and colorful headbands called Bowdanas, set up shop for the first time at the European Market Saturday morning. The Chicago native has been making her cute headbands for over two years and after some success at other markets and festivals, it was time to make her way over to Chesterton.
“I was a stay at home mom of three little girls and I had a sewing machine and I just wanted something a little different for a photoshoot they were doing,” Waddell said. “So I made one of these knot headbands that adjust so that anyone can really wear it, and it really took off from there. But this is my first time here at the European Market, and so far I just really love the atmosphere and getting the chance to show my product in person.”
The Chesterton European Market has been a favorite of businesses wanting to show Northwest Indiana the perks of buying local and homemade items. And even though it was a cold Saturday morning at the annual opening, that didn’t stop everyone from making their way to Chesterton to enjoy a regional start of the summer favorite.
For more information about the European Market and the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, go to http://www.dunelandchamber.org/.