A Connecticut food entrepreneur who sells her creations at farmers’ markets is starting a new farmers’ market, where everything for sale is gluten-free.
Stephanie Thomacos from Enfield, who makes macaroons and dacquoise cakes as Mama’s Macs, will bring other gluten-free food vendors to Ellington on Sunday mornings between November 20 and March 19.
The Connecticut Gluten-Free Farmer’s Market, at 420 Somers Road, will be held every other Sunday, with some date adjustments during the holidays, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Thomacos said she believes her market will be the first exclusively gluten-free farmers market in the state. The idea has been in her head since the first gathering she attended as a saleswoman.
“My first event was the Connecticut Gluten Free Expo. I got into the gluten-free community right away. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to do this,” she said. “I struggled with allergies. My children suffered from allergies. I know how difficult it can be.
She decided to shop indoors during the cold season to help other promising entrepreneurs.
“Small business owners struggle to make ends meet in the winter because there aren’t many opportunities to sell,” she said.
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So far, Thomacos has seven suppliers who plan to come to each event and five or six guest suppliers who may attend certain events.
“We have my macaroons and my dacquoise. We have traditional pastries. We have artisan chocolates. We have raw, cold-pressed Jamaican juices,” Thomacos said.
She is looking for more. “It’s more difficult to find farmers because they don’t have a lot in winter. We have a chicken farm that is committed to the market. We’re looking for maple syrup and honey and stuff like that,” she said.
Thomacos is also looking for volunteers to register.
“The building has two floors. Most people will be able to be on the first floor but some will be on the second. There is no elevator. The volunteers were helping the older vendors carry things up the stairs,” she said. “I also need volunteers to help me run the SNAP program and others to count occupancy. The fire marshal demands it.
People who want to sell their groceries or do volunteer work can find information at instagram.com/ctglutenfreemarket.
Susan Dunne can be contacted at [email protected].