Chocolate Demonstration Fundraiser on May 17 for Farmers’ Market

By Sue Moore

Nicole Berner shows off a few of her wedding cake creations.
Nicole Berner shows off a few of her wedding cake creations.

How do chocolate and the spring opening of the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market go together? Because of the cold spring, there probably won’t be a lot of fresh vegetables available on May 16, the first Friday of the market that runs from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the new community pavilion.

“Unless things warm up quite a bit, all our table will have is lettuce greens from our hoop house,” Bridgette Leach from Avalon Farms said at the annual vendors meeting, recently.

But, on Saturday, May 17, chocolate will be the theme of a fundraiser for the Farmers Market to be held at the Vicksburg Community Center.

“Designing with Chocolate” will be conducted by Nicole Berner, a Lansing pastry chef and former Vicksburg resident. She was featured in the March edition of the South County News with a photo of a giant wedding cake, created at her job for Cakes-a-Bloomin’.

Berner also teaches baking classes in Charlotte and has been acclaimed for her skills in teaching and her knowledge of desserts to delight the palate of any chocolate lover. She is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Arts, baking and pastry school and before that, KVCC and Vicksburg High School.

The one-hour session on turning chocolate into decorative and tasty desserts takes place at 2 p.m. with a cost of $25. There are only 20 tickets available so all the attendees will be able to watch closely and learn a lot, Berner says.

To reserve a seat, call Maureen Wiertella, treasurer of the Farmers’ Market board of directors, at 649-4501. All proceeds will go toward building a storage shed next to the pavilion.

Vicksburg Farmers’ Market To Open in New Location

Returning vendors in the Vicksburg Farmers Market are looking forward to their new home in the community pavilion. In addition, some new vendors will be there including those selling granola, gluten free baked goods, quiches, and smoked BBQ meats. There will even be a massage therapist.

The logistics of parking, handicap access and booth rental are being carried out by the newly former board of directors of the nonprofit Vicksburg Farmers Market.

“Figuring out the parking and entrance to the market has been in collaboration with the Village, the Lions Club and the market,” said Carol Lafrance, president of the board of directors. “We have been aided by two retired Michigan Department of Transportation officials, John Polasek of the Lions Club and Don Wiertella. It appears that the entrance to the pavilion facility will need to be from Spruce Street on the east side as the Kalamazoo County Road Commission traffic engineers, are seeing problems with an entrance off of Richardson Street.”

Helping Lafrance on the board of directors are new board members, Maureen Wiertella, Bob Smith, and Kay Anderson.

Holdovers from the previous board include Pat Hjertos and Sue Moore. The newest board member and now co-market manager is Stella Shearer.

Lafrance commended the ten market sponsors who have donated funds for building the storage shed. Headliners are Reeder Automotive, Frederick Construction, and Ronningen Research.

Other businesses stepping up to help include Grossman & Moldovan, South County Community Services, South County News, Kalamazoo County State Bank, Vicksburg Family Doctors, Vicksburg Car Wash, and Fred’s Pharmacies.

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