The Bath Farmers Market has opened for the season at its new location in the Bath Freight Shed.by Chris Chase
Coastal Journal staff
BATH — The Bath Farmers Market has officially opened for the season on Nov. 4 at its new location, the Bath Freight Shed.
The Freight Shed, a historic building on the waterfront of Bath, has been the subject of a massive restoration effort by the Bath Freight Shed Alliance, whose volunteers have done a large amount of work in order to prepare the building for use in the winter. The opening day was attended by hundreds of people who filtered in and out throughout the day.
According to Wiebke Theodore, the chair of the Freight Shed Alliance, the building was just barely prepared in time.
“I think the heat went on yesterday at 4 o’clock,” said Wiebke. “There’s probably still some wet paint.”
The market had roughly 20 vendors present selling a variety of locally made and grown products. Goat cheese, organically grown poultry, locally made wine and mead, pastries and baked goods, and of course vegetables were all present. In addition, there was some live music, and an enthusiastic Wiebke was happy to give tours of the still-in-progress Freight Shed.
“It’s like magic when the vendors bring all their signs and vegetables and add that layer to the area,” said Wiebke. “The barn-like character of the building is great for the market.”
Steven Theodore, Wiebke’s husband, has also put in a great deal of work in order to help restore the building. A local architect who co-owns Theodore + Theodore Architects with his wife, Steven said he saw the building as a valuable historic relic that deserved to be saved.
“A lot of people were skeptical and thought this building wasn’t worth saving,” said Steven.
According to Steven, the biggest part of their efforts has been getting as many people involved as possible so that they could begin to gain support for their project.
“That’s how you save spaces like this, you get people invested in it,” said Steven.
The building in its current, viable state has been the results of both their own efforts and that of the community, the product of “...a lot of volunteer time, a lot of working, and a lot of material donations,” said Steven.
The Farmer’s Market is the first of many activities to be held in the Freight Shed, if the Theodores have anything to say about it.
“We’ve been wanting to get an activity like this in here for a long time,” said Steven. “We want to get even more activities in here.”
Jennifer Geiger of Main Street Bath was in attendance for the first day, and was pleased to see the Farmer’s Market in the freight shed.
“I am so excited to see this come to fruition,” said Geiger. “It’s wonderful to be able to keep the Farmers Market downtown. It’s a lot easier for everyone to move it just a little bit down the road.”
Geiger feels that the entire event can be solely attributed to the efforts of the Freight Shed Alliance.
“I give them so much credit,” said Geiger. “They did not give up.”
The vendors were all pleased that the event was taking place as well.
Jill Adams, who was present on behalf of Candice Heydon of Oyster Creek Mushroom Company, was there selling a variety of grown and foraged mushrooms.
“To be in downtown is priceless,” said Adams of the new location. “I think it’s a plus all around.”
Beryl Sidelinger, the owner of Beryl’s Pastries, also felt that the new location would be a boon for everyone involved.
“I think this is a great idea,” said Sidelinger. “I think the majority of people are excited about contributing. I think we’ll see more and more improvements.”
Currently, the building will still take some more work to be fully prepared for the cold winter days coming up. But everyone involved is enthusiastic about their ability to get it done, and hopes that anyone interested will stop by on a Saturday to check out the market.
“You don’t have to buy anything to be here,” said Wiebke. “We’re a very un-intimidating group.”