By Joe Korba
On June 1st, a hot, sunny morning in Lehighton, the Mahoning Farmer’s Market celebrated it’s grand re-opening. The long-time Carbon County Mainstay is back in business, after being closed for four years, since being leased by Floyd Santee and his wife Rebecca.
“It’s a breath of fresh air,” vendor Debbie Iris says of the re-opened Market. Ms. Iris and Sam Zohiery run “Debbie & Sam,’s Gallery” – a booth selling all sorts of collectable art, Hummel plates, and a variety of other collectables and artwork. The diversity of the vendors sets The Mahoning Farmer’s Market apart from other Markets in the area. Ms. Iris also could not speak highly enough of her fellow vendors and the new ownership. “Wonderful. I love the owners; they do everything they can for the vendors. It’s well lit and clean. All of the vendors help one another,” she said.
Along with the assortment of goods including comic books, records, model cars and pretty much anything you can think of, a large part of the market is committed to more traditional farmer’s market fare like produce and meats. A local vendor, All American Kettle Corn, owned and operated by Jim and Kathy Henderson, is peddling their handcrafted and addicting treats in a variety of flavors just across the aisle from long-time Slatington businessmen John Rinker, of Rinker’s BBQ Pit who is now selling his sandwiches and other goods at the market. “I don’t know why we weren’t here before! Lots of people are coming by [for food].” Mr. Rinker said.
At 9 a.m. Carbon County Commissioners Tom C. Gerhard and Wayne Nothstein, along with a Mahoning Township Supervisor, State Representative Doyle Heffley, and co-owner of the Mahoning Farmer’s Market Rebecca Shook participated in a ribbon cutting at the entrance of the Market. “The Mahoning Market and the Carbon County Fair were always big events when I was growing up in the area. It’s good to have it back,” Commissioner Gerhard said.
Ms. Shook expressed gratitude towards the vendors. “They make this place and I want to thank them for giving us the opportunity to bring it back,” she said.
The Mahoning Farmer’s Market is open Fridays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is located at 2522 Blakeslee Boulevard in Lehighton, PA. For more information, or to inquire about vendor space, call 610-674-2547.