Carmel Farmers Market: Celebrating Cultures and Shared Innovation
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Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Staff and submitted
Carmel Farmers Market’s (CFM) mission is to provide Indiana grown and/or produced products. While the market manages that mission masterfully, it also has become a mecca for people from many different cultures to share with their Carmel community a taste of their culture. Likewise, vendors, such as Mission Coffee LLC, have collaborated with other countries to bring unique technologies and processes to CFM. It is a fair statement that the market, albeit is located in Carmel, reaches beyond the boundaries and has a global impact.
Mission Coffee LLC
Peter Beering shared what technologies his coffee company brings to CFM that is not at any other market.
“For 19 years, Mission Coffee has bridged the gap between central Indiana and Central America long before it was fashionable and trendy to have sole-source coffee,” Beering shared. “We know every human being that touches this coffee except for the baggage handlers and the longshoremen. We know the farm, we know the farmers, we know the farmers’ families. Those connections matter because people want to know there is a relationship with the people handling their food, and it is one of the key factors behind CFM.”
Beering added, “I think there are a lot of technologies that are a part of the market that most people aren’t aware of. For our operation, because we’re making large quantities of coffee, we have adapted a commercial coffee maker to work here in the field. We have a customized brewer, with the blessings of BUNN Corporation—it was custom fabricated for the purpose of this market. This year, we added an automatic cappuccino machine that comes to us from Germany. Like our brewer, it has a customized road case that fits in our coffee van that we bring to the market every weekend. We were the first in the U.S. to offer Nitro cold-brew coffee outside of a coffee shop and are constantly looking at ways we can make what we do better and create a better experience for the 5,000 or so people that visit this market every Saturday.”
Arepas Is Bridging Culinary Gaps One Bite at a Time
Local resident Edwin Marrugo, owner of Arepas, launched his business in 2018. Arepas is run by Marrugo and his family—originally from Venezuela—and his wife, Jeannie, who is also the co-owner of Café Baby, also a CFM vendor.
Marrugo grew up eating arepas daily. Arepas are precooked corn-based pitas, sliced open, that can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner, depending on your taste. Marrugo and his family make everything fresh at the market.
“The market for us is an opportunity,” Marrugo said. “It is a gathering of community. You can see all around us families, children and all kinds of people from everywhere. For us, it has become an opportunity to bridge our culture with the people here. Arepas is something that we’re super proud of. For us Venezuelans, this is part of our culture and part of our spirits. I get emotional when I see people lining up and enjoying it—it makes all the work that we put into this very rewarding.”
CFM President Ron Carter spoke about how the market has become a place for residents to gather and enjoy a multicultural experience without having to leave Carmel.
“We have become a place for people who have come from other cultures to expose their native foods to a lot of people who may have otherwise never had the opportunity to experience and enjoy some of these foods and learn more about the cultures behind them,” Carter said. “One of our good friends here in Carmel is from Venezuela. He comes every Saturday [to the market] to get an arepa because it reminds him of home. This is only one example of how Carmel serves many cultures, which is the reason many of our vendors have chosen Carmel as a great place to live, work and raise a family and to become part of the American economic mainstream.”
Be sure to visit these CFM vendors who also bring their international flavors to the market!
3 IN 1 RESTAURANT—Pupusas, tamales and Sides
AAHAA CHAI—Authentic chai teas
APRICOT SUN MEDITERRANEAN FOOD BAR_Gluten-free Mediterranean cuisine
BETTINI PASTA—Homemade pasta
BROTGARTEN—German artisan bread and pastry
GUACAMOLE & MORE—Guacamole, salsas and more!
MA CREPERIE—Sweet and savory crepes
VIETNAMESE EGGROLL BAR—Traditional Vietnamese cuisine
For a complete list of CFM vendors, activities and entertainment, visit carmelfarmersmarket.com.