CHARLES TOWN —Saint Isidore Market is a unique farmers market dedicated to helping families in Jefferson County thrive, as well as giving parishioners at Saint James Catholic Church the opportunity to see each other, but outside and at a safe distance. The market is held in the parking area of the church at 49 Crosswinds Drive.
About five to 10 vendors bring their products to the market Fridays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. However, because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the market will be held Tuesday Nov. 24 in the same time slot. Thanksgiving orders must be placed before Monday Nov. 23. To place an order, go to the website at SaintIsidoreMarket.com. Pick up will take place Tuesday.
Grace Guiney, market manager, emphasized that the market is not a fundraiser for the church.
“The market takes a small percentage of vendor profits to cover the cost of overhead (management, supplies, the website). The main goal of the market is to connect our community to small family businesses,” Guiney said.
Appropriately, the market is named after the patron saint of farmers.
Saint Isidore Market has family friendly prices. The vendors set up in locations spread out enough to accommodate appropriate social distancing. Customers drive through the main loop to pick up their items. They have the option to park and pick up their groceries from each vendor. In addition to pre-orders, some products are available for walk-up sales.
Customers can find a wide variety of foods like smoked turkey, Amish cheeses, Keto bakery items, scones, and lettuce from Cedar Ridge Farm in Martinsburg. And then there’s Veron Ennis who runs Joan + Joe Coffee in Shannondale with her husband Duncan.
“We started bringing coffee to our church’s Saint Philomena Festival in August last year. Grace wanted to keep it going,” Ennis said.
Ironically, the pandemic was the reason for the market’s opening in May.
“It was to provide a way for our community to safely purchase items from small businesses,” said Guiney.
Ennis said. “We had all felt so isolated. It was so good to see friendly faces again. We would holler through car windows to say hello.”
Joan + Joe Coffee has something called a cold brew coffee, organic and fresh, that is available in gallon growlers. Ennis said it’s less acidic. The couple also sells dark roast organic whole coffee beans called Mountain Blend, along with other items. Their website is joanandjoecoffee.com.
Ennis said she and her husband started the business when they came up with a great recipe for coffee.
“We really think God gave us that recipe,” Ennis said.
And saints also come into play with the couple. Joan is for Joan of Arc and Joe is for Saint Joseph.