Walking through the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market on almost any Saturday or Wednesday, the sense of hospitality and community is palpable. People mingling in the aisles wave, shake hands, or even hug each other in the cheery hubbub, and vendors greet their customers, many of whom return every week. “It’s like a big family here at the market”, says Scott Robertello, the owner of Kapnick Orchards, in Britton, Michigan.
As if to underscore that point, on a recent warm Wednesday afternoon at the market, one of the people assisting Robertello was Haven, the teenaged great-granddaughter of Charles and Janice Kapnick, who founded the farm in 1958.
Despite what the name implies, Kapnick Orchards’ stall at the market, besides its variety of apple-related products, features asparagus, homemade fudge, and many types of breads and pastries.
“We come here every day that the market is open; every Saturday year-round, and Wednesdays when the Wednesday market is in session.” Robertello believes that supporting local farmers is crucial. “… Knowing where your food comes from, who produced your food, and supporting your local businesses so that the money stays in the community and gets reinvested in the community, [is important].”
The people who run Kapnick Orchards clearly know a thing or two about family businesses, but they’re also interested in outreach and educating families in the area.
“We are a family owned and run business and everything we do is geared toward young families. We have many activities, we have pick-your- own crops at the orchard. We hope that children become interested in where their food comes from,” says Robertello.
Farmer’s markets are a large part of Kapnick Orchards’ revenue source; the business visits eight other markets in this part of Michigan. “We want to grow our community involvement; we’re not looking to add more farmer’s markets than the ones we already visit, but hope for better sales at the ones we’re at.”
To Robertello, the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market is special. “People here are a lot more knowledgeable, and there’s a lot more love and understanding.”
Written by Special Writer Emily Slomovits.