THERE’S A NEW MARKET IN TOWN: Local Creates Cadott Farmers Market
returning native strives to bring diverse, local goods to community
With no grocery store in town, Cadott residents typically have to travel to Chippewa Falls or Cornell for groceries. Either way, it's a 20-minute drive.
Cadott-grown local, Jessica Ryba, moved back to the town last year with her partner and kids to find the last grocery store in town had closed some time ago.
“I remember growing up in Cadott with (grocery) stores around, but when I moved back there was nothing,” Ryba said.
Seeing a deep community need, Ryba stepped up to the plate this spring to bring something new and fresh to the town – a farmer’s market. “I started digging deep in March (planning the market),” she said. “I did a lot of research – lots and lots and lots.”
Doing her own sleuthing online to see what other farmers markets had done to successfully start up, Ryba knew it was imperative the community have a voice in the market too, especially since she wanted it to function as a nonprofit. By conducting a survey via social media asking for community input as well as doing some good ol’ word-of-mouth work, Ryba founded the Cadott Farmers Market with a community full of excitement behind it.
On top of working a full-time job and having a family of her own, creating the market was truly a passion project. With support from her husband, Lance, she said this “adventure” is already giving back in more ways than she anticipated.
Kicking off last weekend on Saturday, June 11, the Cadott Farmers Market will continue to be held every Saturday from 9am-noon at Riverview Park, June through October, rain or shine.
With the first market attracting 200 people of all ages, it was definitely a success. Even more, Ryba said the best part of the event was not the amount of people who came, but what they did upon arriving.
“Over 200 people showed up – even in the rain – and that in itself was incredible. But people didn’t just come, pick up a few things and leave,” Ryba said. “They wanted to stay and hang out. I saw people just talking and enjoying being out together. That was the best part.” Ryba’s children were also at the first event, handing out temporary tattoos of the farmers market’s logo. Ryba said having her kids involved and being able to see the community come together is something she wanted them to experience.
“It’s important for my kids to see this type of community,” Ryba said.
Of course, so much behind-the-scenes work went into planning the first event, let alone setting up the market to be a continued facet in the community.
As a one-woman show, Ryba did all of the groundwork to secure vendors and reach out to potential sponsors. More than 10 vendors were part of June 11’s market, including bakeries, a wood-fired pizza vendor, and of course, local farms. For future markets, even more vendors are already signed up and more are welcome to join.
With four levels of sponsorships available, the Cadott Farmers Market currently has eight sponsors, including the Wisconsin Farmers Union (Ryba’s employer), Yellowstone Cheese, WESTconsin Credit Union, and more.
The first level begins at a $125 donation, followed by $300, $500, and $1,000-plus. The first two levels offer general perks with the market, with the third level also offering the sponsor a spot at the market to represent their business. At the fourth level, all of the other levels’ perks are offered, plus four further market slots to represent their business.
After the first market’s success, Ryba – alongside her family and all of the vendors – are pumped for the rest of the season. Head out to Riverview Park from 9am to noon on Saturdays this summer to get in on the local fun.
Head over to the Cadott Farmers Market’s official Facebook for more photos and information, or visit their website. To order limited-edition Cadott Farmers Market T-shirts designed by manager Jessica Ryba, fill out this Google form.