Weekly Market at Lower Offers Fresh, Healthy Options

The smell of fresh-baked bread and the sight of colorful produce is just enough to draw students out of their dorms and onto Corcoran Plaza to explore the weekly farmers’ market. Every fall Friday leading up to Thanksgiving, the usually quiet area is transformed into a bustling market equipped with a variety of fresh produce and baked goods.  

The market was started in 2009 by Derrick Cripps, the former general manager of BC Dining. His idea was to bring more options for fresh, healthy food to campus. Originally focused on produce, the market has expanded and now offers a variety of cheeses, breads, and dried goods that students can conveniently buy with money from their meal plan. 

“I’ve gotten avocados, tomatoes, apples, and carrots. As for baked goods, I bought a large loaf of bread and a blueberry loaf,” Catherine Stenberg, Lynch ’23, said. 

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The goods come from all over and there’s enough variety for everyone to find something they like. Goat cheese from Vermont, Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs from New Hampshire, and fruit from local Massachusetts farms like Ward’s Berry farm cover the tables. The market partners with a distributor who brings in all the locally grown produce. They even have pumpkins, gourds, and other seasonal items to make your dorm a little more festive. 

“We’ve heard from students who shop at the market that they have tried new local foods like delicata squash and romanesco cauliflower,” Julianne Stelmaszyk, BC’s sustainability and food systems manager, said.

Many students enjoy picking up their fruits and vegetables for the week at the market. They know it’s always fresh, and it’s more convenient to walk to Lower than it is to go all the way to Star Market or Wegmans. Upperclassmen who have kitchens and kitchenettes in their dorms can even find ways to use the fruits and vegetables to make delicious meals of their own. Garden Salads, avocado toast, and charcuterie boards are all possibilities thanks to the market. 

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“I love the market,” Stenberg said. “Going to the grocery store is sometimes a hassle, but the market is an easy and resourceful way to get food. It’s also a great way to support a local farm and company.” 

COVID-19 has not hindered the market—it’s actually done quite the opposite. According to Stelmaszyk, it has allowed it to grow. Now, the market is entirely outside, giving vendors more space to sell their goods. It is also open rain or shine and has longer hours than previous years. They have been able to hire more student interns to help out, and Stelmaszyk assures the BC community they have taken the necessary safety precautions to make sure people are not at risk. 

Students have taken advantage of the market during an unusual semester and made sure to stock up on all the fresh, delicious produce. Having access to fresh produce right on campus is not only convenient, but also a nice way to spice up both your diet and your Friday afternoon.

Photos Courtesy of BC Dining

Caroline Quinn

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